Why people cover their laptop and Phone cameras with tape?

 

cover laptop camera with tape


Why is Important to Cover laptop cameras and Phone Cameras with tape?

Before starting let watch the picture below from Mark Zuckerberg:


Mark Zuckerberg covered his laptop cameras with tape
Mark Zuckerberg covered his laptop cameras with tape


Above image shows that Mark Zuckerberg covered his laptop cameras with tape

That’s both the camera taped up and the microphone on his Apple laptop. Across congressional testimony, Zuckerberg has consistently stated that they don’t abuse user data. Yet, here he is, with both of those things covered up.

Even he doesn’t trust the words that he speaks. Why? Because it has nothing to do about trusting his own words. He knows that they at Facebook are constantly monitoring you. He knows that it’s probably the industry standard to do so.



Why i should cover my laptop Camera with tape...??

As I discovered recently the camera isn’t the only thing you should be concerned of regarding security.

Camera’s uncovered can be a security risk if you let someone in either deliberately or inadvertently without the proper security to control your camera.


Take this for example - I’ve got ESET smart security on my system and that is setup to warn me instantly if any website tries to access my webcam. Ok so I go onto Google Mail - the minute I go onto Google Mail ESET pops up and says to me that Google is attempted to access my webcam.


Interesting - are they really? Why does reading my Gmail need Google to be able to initiate my webcam? At what point does Gmail need to see my face just to show me my e-mails? I don’t know - and I’m quite sure Google don’t really have an answer for this either. Of course however there are plenty of other cameras they could also use anyway - remember most smart phones have at least 2 cameras so that’s actually producing far more clearer images than my Logitech HD webcam - and of course remember Google own Android and so Google have full control over those cameras.


There is however an even bigger security flaw than just webcams and I was so shocked when my friend who does cybersecurity showed me this trick.


Whilst on speaker phone he was able to say “Hey google - what is my location?” and Google very kindly read out for him my location (ok it wasn’t too exact but even still it was pretty close) - it didn’t bother that the accent didn’t match (even though accent matching is switched on). Next thing he asked google was the distance to the nearest post office, the nearest pub and the nearest church - of course knowing about triangulation I knew exactly what he was doing. At this stage he knows the distance from my house to three of these locations so using triangulation he can easily locate me.


It didn’t stop there though - next thing was “hey google turn the TV on” - as well as a google home mini we also have a chromecast too and yep it sent the chromecast the message to turn the TV on, and then with another command he even got the chromecast to play cheesy dance music and full volume in our house from a speakerphone conversation (in addition to this he’d also found out my IP address an was also able to ask google for my upcoming events - at which point I had to ask it to stop as there is a discreet medical event in my calendar I didn’t want him hearing - of course as we’re playing here I was prepared to yell out hey google stop in case he did try anything like this.


But here’s the point yeah it seems all funny and good to be able to turn someone's TV on via a speakerphone at full blast playing dance music, we also discovered it works with an answering machine too… erm… oops! Ok so now we have a serious issue here - the problem is it works with an answerphone - so imagine this scenario - someone is stood outside your house and they watch you go out, they know your phone number and they know you have a home mini and an answerphone. They call the answerphone up and say hey google… turn the tv on. Great they can see that works… next thing you’ve thought you want a smart home and have installed smart home door locks that allow you to open the front door just by asking the google mini and not only that some burglar alarms can be setup to be disabled by Google home too. So this person that’s sat outside, that knows you’re not at home - after all they’ve just turned your TV on full blast playing cheesy dance music and no-one has approached the TV to turn it off, could now phone back and tell Google to kindly open the automated door for them and disable the burglar alarm all from their mobile phone by calling up your answerphone… oh ok that’s a massively huge security flaw there.


Who needs to see a webcam when Google home minis can allow people to break and enter into autonomous homes using just a mobile phone and an answering machine.


Another reason is that Computers can be hacked without you knowing.

The whole screen is full of cameras plus the cameras on the back. And it’s next to impossible to do anything with older model phones because so many apps require an update. So there’s almost no getting away from the cameras.

Otherwise, I'm afraid you can't. Webcam hacking is extremely easy; once you're in the system (if you've used Metasploit to gain access at least) it's as simple as typing a single command to capture your webcam and/or audio and/or your screen. If you're good at networking you could tell forensically that your computer had been accessed, but otherwise you will not find a trace.


Conclusion

To avoid such things, I prefer to keep my camera covered. When I join office meetings, I am not required to turn my camera On. Hence a masking tape does the job. Even if someone could gain access to my laptop and its camera, there won't be any picture to record.



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