Anti-peeping webcam protects your privacy

Filed Under: Malware, Privacy

Peeping webcam
I've discussed before the problem of perverts and cyberstalkers using malware to grab control over their victims' webcams , in order to secretly spy upon people in their bedrooms.

On occasions, hackers have exploited the technology to blackmail young women into posing naked, threatening that they will send other comproming photos to their online friends.

Much of the malicious software we see today is designed to steal your identity, your passwords, your banking information - but it is just as easy to program a spyware Trojan horse to take over your webcam.

That's why I was interested to see this new USB webcam from Gsou.

Whereas most webcams display a light when a webcam is turned on, this webcam in the shape of a cute humanoid robot lifts its arms to obscure its "eye" when it is switched off! It would be pretty hard for someone not to notice that a remote hacker has enabled their webcam if its arms suddenly moved down unexpectedly.

According to the Chinese manufacturers, as well as automatically lowering and rising as the webcam is enabled and disabled, they can also be moved manually.

Not only is this very cute - but I can imagine that it could also offer a very real additional level of privacy to folks on the internet.

Of course, ensuring that your webcam can't see you is only one way to defend yourself. You should also keep your computer protected against the latest threats with anti-malware software, security patches and firewalls. And if you can't afford a cute robot that will automatically cover his lens when you want privacy, maybe a band-aid over your webcam would do the job just as well?

Hmm.. considering the recent news about malware possibly being embedded inside Chinese technology, I wonder if India will be purchasing any of these webcams? ;-)

Hat-tip to Wing Fei Chia for spotting this first.

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3 Responses to Anti-peeping webcam protects your privacy

  1. Waldo · 1090 days ago

    neat idea, as long as the function isn't software controlled. Laptops might be better served by a cam lens that rolls back into the frame.

  2. VVK · 973 days ago

    Re: band aid as an option: I had a kind of band-aid tape thing over my laptop's webcam when I wasn't using it at all, and when I started using Skype again and it tested the webcam, the view it gave me through the band-aid was, well, blurry - nowhere close to totally blocked. A more solid band-aid would presumably be better, but not just any kind.

  3. Kelly · 775 days ago

    I use a web camera blocker on my MacBook's web cam lens. Works much better than post its and is cheaper and more eco in the long run.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog at, 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. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley