Miss Teen USA, Cassidy Wolf, was the victim of a hijacked webcam earlier this year. Wolf was extorted to ensure private photos taken without her knowledge from her webcam were not made public. As an article in NetworkWorld explained last month, Miss Cassidy “wasn’t even aware that somebody was watching me.”
“The light (on the camera) didn’t even go on, so I had no idea.”
Cassidy is taking on the task of increasing awareness of cybercrime in her role as Miss Teen USA, as a recent study reveals one in two Americans are “clueless about webcam hacking.”
Wireless IP Camera Surveillance Security Threats
Many people use wireless IP surveillance cameras in their homes. This technology can also be turned against you, allowing cybercriminals to spy on you in real-time. The NetworkWorld article includes a story of a hacker recently hijacking a wireless IP camera being used as a baby monitor and using it to terrorize a baby and her parents.
Cassidy offers tips for keeping your computer secure but these are all things we’ve heard before:
“changing passwords frequently and making them unique…deleting cookies… and putting a sticker over the computer’s webcam.”
There is an easier way – a better solution for keeping your webcam secure – than manually clearing cookies on a daily or hourly basis and taping paper or putting a sticker over your webcam when it’s not in use.
Precautions Don’t Equal Prevention
Yes, we agree keeping your password complex and clearing your cookies is a good idea, but to do it manually on a regular basis is just more upkeep for you to do, instead of allowing your computer to take care of these tasks on its own. And even with all those precautions, you’re still not blocking the hacker from accessing your machine. And placing a sticker over your webcam doesn’t turn off the microphone.
PerfectGuard blocks webcam hackers as well as other activity-logging malware that hack into your system to capture everything typed into your keyboard, view everything you see on your monitor and record everything placed into your clipboard from copy/paste activities.
Don’t take our word for it. Listen to Raxco customer Mike Mitchell. Mike had recently started using his webcam with facial recognition systems for site logins. But strange things started happening:
“At first, everything seemed to be working as advertised. After a few weeks, I started to notice that my webcam activation light was coming on at odd times, even after being reset. I was beginning to suspect that something might be amiss, but other than unplugging it completely, I wasn’t sure what to do about it. Strangely enough, I received the PerfectGuard product email the next day (I know, sounds campy but it’s true).
After reading the email, I thought that it might solve my problem and it has! PerfectGuard “caught” the logger and blocked it. Once it was identified, I deleted the associated logger files and the webcam works normally. I’ve used Raxco products for years — PerfectDisk mostly, but over the last few months I’ve started using PerfectUpdater, PerfectRegistry & PerfectGuard. You guys make great/reliable products…thanks!”