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Old 06-03-2019, 12:37 PM   #1
Lysander666
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Do you cover/disable your laptop camera?


As title, really. There's a guy next to me in the library with a sticker over the camera of his Macbook Pro [it seems nearly all students in London these days have Macbook Pros, it's almost a requirement]. I don't cover mine because I figured I have less chance of being spied on due to my using a Linux OS, and a non-systemd one at that.

But maybe I'm wrong? Furthermore, my camera has a light that goes on next to it when it's activated [I suppose one could argue that the light could be disabled too].
 
Old 06-03-2019, 12:46 PM   #2
ugjka
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If you never use the camera just open the case and disconnect it from the board and might as well disconnect the microphone if possible.

For me personally an active microphone poses a bigger risk than someone recording my face. Well except maybe for those self gratification moments i wouldn't want someone to capture my OH face
 
Old 06-03-2019, 12:51 PM   #3
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Yes, I use tape, multiple layers. I could disconnect, but that's a PITA. Never thought about the mic really, guess that could e an issue as well.
 
Old 06-03-2019, 12:53 PM   #4
Lysander666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ugjka View Post
For me personally an active microphone poses a bigger risk than someone recording my face. Well except maybe for those self gratification moments i wouldn't want someone to capture my OH face
I remember things like this are what Snowden referred to as "the fringe benefits of surveillance positions".
 
Old 06-03-2019, 12:58 PM   #5
ugjka
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I was thinking if someone can compromise your camera, remotely or otherwise ,wouldn't it be safe to assume they have access to the rest of your system including your keyboard, files, browsing history etc...
 
Old 06-03-2019, 01:03 PM   #6
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Depends on the malware used to gain this access. Access is most likely gained via a drive by install of malware, or a phishing install of malware. The malware can take over your camera, but if it has other functionality, then yes, it can probably do much more.
 
Old 06-03-2019, 01:15 PM   #7
273
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I cover the cameras of my personal laptops only in case I forget and Skype, or connect to some web service which enables cameras and I am "inappropriately attired". The hacking situation doesn't bother me.
I tested a couple of Amazon Alexa devices for a short time -- I don't talk to myself enough to care about microphones but I found the devices useless to me.
 
Old 06-03-2019, 03:19 PM   #8
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Yes, camera is covered on laptop at all times, broken plug is placed in the mic jack, camera is also covered on cell phone. Did this for many years then learned that Facebook founder Zuckerberg also always does it. If I need to take a picture and do not have my point and shoot on hand, then I take off the tape snap the picture and put the tape back on again. If you question the purpose of the camera/mic on the phone, consider that many new phones will not work correctly if you cover the camera, and unless you disable the location services your photos are tagged with the exact location where you shot the photo.

Ref: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/23/t...er-it-too.html
https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...phone-facebook
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technolo...microphone-on/

And regarding people hacking your webcam:
https://www.digitalspy.com/tech/a795...tphone-camera/
https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/...ers/377676002/
https://uk.norton.com/yoursecurityre...webcam_hacking
https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...rophone-spying

Last edited by ChuangTzu; 06-03-2019 at 03:21 PM.
 
Old 06-03-2019, 04:55 PM   #9
Contrapak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ugjka View Post
I was thinking if someone can compromise your camera, remotely or otherwise ,wouldn't it be safe to assume they have access to the rest of your system including your keyboard, files, browsing history etc...
Pretty much this. I never cover my camera and always thought the paranoia around it was a meme.
 
Old 06-03-2019, 05:01 PM   #10
Slackware_fan_Fred
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lysander666 View Post
I don't cover mine because I figured I have less chance of being spied on due to my using a Linux OS, and a non-systemd one at that.

But maybe I'm wrong? Furthermore, my camera has a light that goes on next to it when it's activated [I suppose one could argue that the light could be disabled too].
Same for me I never covered mine before like you said being Linux and a non-systemd execpt mine has no light so I got a little paranoid and just put Guerrilla tape over it.
 
Old 06-03-2019, 05:22 PM   #11
wpeckham
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We covered the camera access on my wife's machine. I have an old machine with no camera. Using it now in fact. I keep it running for use when I would want to cover a camera. ;-)
 
Old 06-04-2019, 02:36 AM   #12
ondoho
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If you are in control of your system, there should be no need to do this.
I currently do not own a laptop, but it wasn't covered on my last one (ARM running Armbian). I might have blacklisted the driver though.

Mr Zuckerborg apparently is not in control of his system...
 
Old 06-04-2019, 04:47 AM   #13
wpeckham
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ondoho View Post
If you are in control of your system, there should be no need to do this.
I currently do not own a laptop, but it wasn't covered on my last one (ARM running Armbian). I might have blacklisted the driver though.

Mr Zuckerborg apparently is not in control of his system...
Is it not the entire point, that if you are NOT in complete control of your system that you may not e able to tell?

It is only paranoia if they are NOT out to get you! ;-)
 
Old 06-04-2019, 07:33 AM   #14
fido_dogstoyevsky
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I unplug the camera on my desktop. And the microphone.

But then I use them on skype, which undoes all the good that the paranoia brings.
 
Old 06-04-2019, 08:01 AM   #15
syg00
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Couple of years back I went to a Linux conference where everyone got a (commercial) webcam cover for free.
Same conference a couple of years prior to that was sponsored by our defense signals directorate (think NSA, GSHQ), so my reaction was WTF ????.

Recent hacks against whatsapp, and things like finfisher prove we are all up the creek without a paddle anyway ... :shrug:
 
  


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