Compliance Management, Incident Response, Malware, Privacy, TDR, Vulnerability Management

Remote switch-on enlists Mac webcams as spies

Look out, Mac users, your webcam is looking at you.

Without users noticing, a new attack enables malware to switch on webcams. The consequences could lead to the theft of personal information or the recording of user activity to subsequently be used for blackmail, according to security researcher Graham Cluley.

He pointed to recent malware detections that showed Eleanor and Mokes arrive ready to record video and audio content from infected computers.

Further, Cluley described a new attack demonstrated this week by Patrick Wardle, director of research at Synack, that could monitor computers for when a user turns on their webcam and then exploit the session to covertly record audio and video.

A piece of tape over the camera would solve the issue for some users, but not for those using FaceTime, Cluley wrote. To defend against that threat, Wardle – an ex-NSA hacker – is offering a free tool that alerts users to protect against piggybacking OS X webcam attacks.

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