Another man accused of "Peeping Tom" webcam hack

Filed Under: Law & order, Malware, Privacy

Yesterday, Sophos published a story about a 47-year-old Cypriot man who has been jailed for four years after being found guilty of spying on a young woman via her webcam. Having infected her laptop with a spyware Trojan horse the man took illicit pictures of the 17-year-old girl in her bedroom, and then tried to blackmail her into posing naked for him.

We've seen similar cases in the past, and it's pretty sick to hear that they are still occurring. Indeed, today we hear of a similar tale from the United States.

According to The Gainesville Sun, a 23-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly taking more than 20,000 photographs of a young woman in various stages of undress, without her knowledge.

Ironically, the intrusion is said to have taken place after the young woman took her laptop to a technician for repair - only to find afterwards that it's battery life was draining, and that the webcam's activity light kept switching on.

The charged man has been named as Craig Matthew Feigin - he's the guy wearing orange pyjamas in the picture. (I wonder if he knew he was having his photograph taken?)

According to detectives working on the case, spying software found on the victim's laptop is available on a website connected with Feigin, and is marketed as a tool for catching philandering spouses and drunken babysitters.

So, if your webcam light flicks on unexpectedly, maybe it's time you scanned your PC with an up-to-date anti-virus?

As I've said before, though, I don't really understand why this kind of crime occurs.

Let me say this loud and clear: if you want to look at naked pictures of women there are plenty of places on the internet where you can do this for free. You don't have to infect innocent people's computers and take over their webcams. What's more, the quality is likely to be much better than the grainy resolution served up by most web cameras.

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3 Responses to Another man accused of "Peeping Tom" webcam hack

  1. Sandesh · 826 days ago

    Its better to disable Webcam...

  2. Waldo · 746 days ago

    1-Webcam quality is pretty impressive these days.
    2-Blackmailers can rot in jail. No sympathy from me.
    3-the only safe webcam is in a box, a block away from any computer.

  3. Roadstone · 728 days ago

    If you're a parent who feels the need to let your child have a computer with a webcam in their room, at least get one with a sliding privacy cover.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.