Researchers find way to activate iSight cameras without alerting users

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 58
    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

    Inexcusable bad engineering by Apple: "hardware interlock" should be so simple it's immune from software. Which it could easily be. And Apple misled buyers into thinking it WAS that simple. I'm 99% certain that kind of clear statement was made prior to 2008. The misleading statement could be an honest (but VERY serious) mistake. The bad engineering is just unacceptable, and goes beyond a "mistake"--it could only come from conscious decision-making in the design. Happily remedied in the last 5 years' models, apparently? But I still use one pre-2008 Mac. Lots of people do.

     

    Talk about FUD.

  • Reply 42 of 58
    crowleycrowley Posts: 6,064member
    Yeah total FUD. No one has ever hacked a webcam before, and even if they did, what possible harm could they do?

    [URL]http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240209018/US-teen-hacker-pleads-guilty-to-webcam-blackmail[/URL]
  • Reply 43 of 58
    Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

    No one has ever hacked a webcam before, and even if they did, what possible harm could they do?

     

    Nice strawman.

  • Reply 44 of 58
    sockrolid wrote: »
    Good luck seeing me through that black electricians' tape.

    Man you really need to shave ;)
  • Reply 45 of 58
    crowleycrowley Posts: 6,064member
    Nice strawman.
    Nice evasion of any meaningful contribution.
  • Reply 46 of 58
    b9botb9bot Posts: 238member

    Well there are a few facts missing to this story. 

    1. What OS was running when they broke into it? 2008 models would have been running leopard or an older OS.

    2. Was that Mac they broke into setup on a firewall securely?

    3. Did they just break into a Mac locally? It's a lot harder to do this stuff when it is truly remotely located.

    4. How much unix do you have to know to actually know how to change the firmware and do it remotely?

     

    To many variables here to be getting all worked up about it.

    The chances of someone getting into your network and your Mac to do this are about as good as you getting struck by lightning.

  • Reply 47 of 58
    "though at this time it only affects MacBooks and iMacs manufactured prior to 2008 with built-in iSight cameras,"

    Key phrase there.

    Just how many folks are running computers that old. And what affect does upgrading to a newer OS have on things. Plus what is required to get this firmware into the machine. If folks aren't installing Trojan horse software like fake versions of Flash will this be a concern
  • Reply 48 of 58
    negafox wrote: »
    I doubt Apple is that concerned with addressing security issues with computers over five years old.  It is probably not worth their time or money to fix given this does not seem to affect products in recent years.

    Or this issue has already been addressed, if only indirectly by preventing the install access needed. Doesn't matter what a software can do if you can't get it on other folks machines
  • Reply 49 of 58
    inkling wrote: »
    There's actually an easy fix that should work with most laptops and make them more versatile.

    Allow the camera to rotate 180 degrees inside its housing. Forward for conference calling, rotated 90 degrees to look inside the housing and thus be inoperable, and rotated a further 90 degrees to record a classroom instructor. No firmware tweak can work around something physical.

    It's likely that such a solution would be controlled by software and thus could be hacked hacked also
  • Reply 50 of 58
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post





    It's likely that such a solution would be controlled by software and thus could be hacked hacked also

    I should have made it clear that the camera is rotated manually. There'd be no motor for software to drive.

  • Reply 51 of 58
    crowleycrowley Posts: 6,064member
    Moving parts? Seems very 1990s ;)
  • Reply 52 of 58
    noahjnoahj Posts: 4,503member
    I wondered if this would actually be possible. Not happy to find out the answer is yes...
  • Reply 53 of 58
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,807member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    Plus, we never talk about how someone could tap into the mic without ever tipping their hand as there is no LED light to circumvent.

     

    We have a winner.

     

    Post-its are a kludgy solution (been using one for much of the past year) but there is no current defence for a hacker listening to your office conversations. I suspect this is more common than we know.

  • Reply 54 of 58
    maltzmaltz Posts: 149member
    LightDims sells fully opaque stickers to put over bright LEDs. (In addition to stickers that simply dim them, of course.) I put one of these over my camera, with the end folded over to make a tab. It's a full hardware solution, and I can remove it and replace it as needed when I (rarely) use the camera.

    http://www.lightdims.com/

    Oh yeah, and since it's glossy black, it matches the existing surface, so it's not very noticeable.
  • Reply 55 of 58
    b9bot wrote: »
    Well there are a few facts missing to this story. 
    1. What OS was running when they broke into it? 2008 models would have been running leopard or an older OS.
    2. Was that Mac they broke into setup on a firewall securely?
    3. Did they just break into a Mac locally? It's a lot harder to do this stuff when it is truly remotely located.
    4. How much unix do you have to know to actually know how to change the firmware and do it remotely?

    To many variables here to be getting all worked up about it.
    The chances of someone getting into your network and your Mac to do this are about as good as you getting struck by lightning.


    I totally agree.
  • Reply 56 of 58










    Soooo, tell me…..am I a nieve, latent exhibitionist or are y'all…..paranoid?

    I feel the same.

    While GLASS makes me feel uneasy I never really worried about someone tapping my laptop's cam or mic. Largely because I feel there is no way of hacking this without local access.
  • Reply 57 of 58
    They could have probably had a hardware fix but it is has been a while since most of these were sold, probably a good percentage have newer models by now.
  • Reply 58 of 58
    Postit note sticky paper, always on especially on my win laptop. Always had it on for safety.
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