Sunday, December 8, 2013

FBI Can Turn On Your Web Cam, and You’d Never Know It

NyPo reports:

The FBI has developed advanced surveillance techniques that give it the power to covertly activate Web cams to spy on unsuspecting computer owners.

Tech savvy G-men can remotely turn on cameras that transmit real-time images to investigators — without triggering the light that shows the camera is in use, according to The Washington Post.

The FBI can also burrow into a suspect’s computer and download files, photographs and stored e-mails.
The new snooping capabilities came to light during an investigation of a mysterious man named “Mo’’ – who threatened to blow up a building filled with innocent people unless authorities free Colorado movie-theater shooting suspect James Holmes.

He also threatened to bomb a jail, a hotel, three colleges and two airports.

No bombs were found at the targets he mentioned.

He first contacted federal authorities in July 2012. It’s not clear how long Mo and the FBI were in touch.
The paper said he sometimes used an untraceable e-mail, other times an encrypted phone.

Mo even sent the FBI pictures of himself fashionably decked out in an Iranian military uniform.

The FBI, frustrated in its attempts to track him down, used special software that would install itself in Mo’s computer when he opened his e-mail.

Read the rest here.


  1. And this is why, since 2008 or so, I've kept a piece of black gaffers tape over the camera lens of each of my notebook computers. The practice came after NY school administrators were caught turning on computer cameras of student's school issued Apple notebook computers while the student was at home. Creepy, right?

  2. Run an easy Linux distro like Mint LMDE or Fedora Linux, where practically everything is open-source. I assure you, the FBI can do none of those things to my computers.

  3. Black electrical tape: The low tech solution to a high tech privacy concern.

  4. Tape over the lens won't necessarily stop the microphone, so they can still hear everything. And also, they aren't just accessing your webcam, they are accessing everything! Your entire computer is compromised. They can go on fishing expeditions using anything that you use your computer for against you.

    For laptops, Linux is the only known secure solution. Seriously, if you still use Microsoft/Apple for computing, then you are putting yourself at a risk.

    This is can also be a problem with all major smartphones as well.

  5. Don't use tape - it will ruin your webcam with the sticky residue it leaves behind.

    Check out these real webcam covers - they barely cost anything and work great!

    Works on laptops, cell phones, tablets, ipad, android, iphone, mac, macbook, Xbox One, Kinect, Amazon Kindle and more!