I read an article earlier on that basically said 1.8 million Yahoo users had personal and “intimate” images stolen from their Laptop cameras by a government spy agency. Pretty crazy right?
The truth is that the IT Security savvy have for all too long resented the presence of embedded video capture devices. Especially if they’re “always on”.
It’s not that I’m particularly frightened that a “Government” would spy; heck anyone can spy. Any shady employee, any unethical hacker, any blackhat or any disgruntled individual could potentially authenticate backdoor access if given the opportunity.
Don’t Use it? – Lose it!
That’s the best IT security lesson you’ll ever learn.
The truth is; having certain “Always on” technologies is a stupid idea.
I’ve literally despised the notion of “Always On” camera technology that is now embedded into every damned device. (Nintendo Wii U, Microsoft Xbox One, Laptops, Mobile Devices, even TVs and Cable Boxes).
Maybe the idea of someone spying on you during random intervals of time when you least suspect it isn’t a big deal. I take the threat seriously, because I’ve seen firsthand the damage such odious and abhorrent IT security attacks can cause. (And a highjacked webcam is just the start).
“But Mike D, You’re Crazy! Nobody’s Really Spying On You!”
You’re absolutely right. Nobody is spying on me. That’s because I’ve expended the effort to ensure all of my devices are 100% camera free.
And remember; anyone has the potential to spy on you. There’s also an overwhelming quantity of hackers and blackhats who would love nothing more than to infect you with a Remote Access Tool/Backdoor Trojan and grant themselves full access to your devices.
There’s actually a massive underground community filled with hackers who “RAT” (remote access tool) “slaves” on a frequent basis. This shady blackhat practice is documented, troubling, startling, little-known, and nerve shattering.
I always knew and suspected that hackers and blackhats loved to highjack Laptop cameras. Heck you probably knew too. But did you know that the UK government has literally high jacked millions of images from innocent end-users? Many of which were in the middle of “Intimate relations” with their partner?
Think I’m Crazy? Here’s Proof that Government’s Unlawfully Highjack Your Laptop Camera:
Millions of photos were taken from innocent and otherwise typical Yahoo users by a U.K. government agency starting in 2008. A large quantity of the photos were allegedly intimate, or private. I could contend, that ALL private photos taken from within the privacy of one’s home should be regarded as “Private” and “Intimate”. One’s own home is private and intimate, is it not?
Nevertheless, the surveillance program entitled “Optic Nerve” captured and stored Laptop Camera Images from millions of Yahoo user accounts globally between 2008 and 2010. (Over 1.8 million end-users were compromised during only a six-month time period). (Source: the Guardian).
What this Breach of Security Means for Us, as End-Users
I’m not sure how the average citizen would feel about this? It’s really an interesting discussion to have. How would you feel knowing that a third party is capturing activity from your camera, which you erroneously assumed was private?
Surely, some level of surveillance is arguably necessary to maintain security. Though I’m curious if during this one instance, power was abused. And the fact is; governments have been caught red handed literally SPYING on its citizens (without a warrant, provocation, or evidence of wrongdoing). In their own homes!
Kind of shady right? – Something for you to think about.
Maybe now you’ll realize why some of us IT nerds are often paranoid about the capabilities of modern technology.
Talk to later.
Mike “Don’t Spy on Me Bro” DeVincent
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