Hacker creates reality TV with users' webcams


The webcam debuted long ago and has become integrated into many computer systems. People use it for any number of things, and products like Skype utilize this functionality. But the innovation has a darker side. It turns out this little add-on can be hacked, allowing the perpetrator to view the user.

A hacker in Russia took this to a higher level by not only accessing people's cameras, but broadcasting the video online, right on YouTube.

2ch's users were hacked and the nation and its media watched it live. As users approached their computers the hacker launched a porn site, in many cases a homosexual one.

This also isn't new, security company Kaspersky points out that in 2014 a website "streamed video from thousands of webcams located in 250 world countries".

How did it happen? A common mistake from average users -- the default password was never changed, or at the very least they chose weak alternatives, which we've seen endless lists of.

2ch is an anonymous website that's popular with any number of users from trolls to those looking for social justice. Unfortunately, it's also popular with hackers.

Kaspersky points out how this was different -- "This time the public eye is focused on a thread of an anonymous user, who hacked computers of hundreds users in a variety of countries and streamed live video from them on YouTube. For several days (starting on April 26) 2ch users have been enjoying the possibility to spy on unsuspecting people, discuss their manners, appearance and room decorations".

There is a rather obvious take-away here. First, change the default password and choose a strong one. Second, you may want to cover up that webcam when not using it, even a simple post-it note will do the trick.

Photo credit: Imilian / Shutterstock

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