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Protect yourself from blackmail: Cover your webcam, expert warns

Owning a laptop or computer doesn’t automatically mean that your information is safe from prying eyes.

According to a report, hackers can now use webcams to secretly take footage of unsuspecting victims. These hackers then use the videos for blackmail.

If you don’t cover your webcams, you run the risk of being blackmailed by hackers, warns Candid Wueest, a security expert from Symantec. He adds that there are even various communities where cybercriminals gather to brag about the people that they have observed via hacked webcams. These hackers can be found on the dark web where they poke fun at their victims.

Wueest adds that there are also hackers who ask for money in exchange for “images and videos captured of sexual acts/masturbation.” Victims are told to send at least 100 British Pounds ($135) unless they want the photos/videos to be posted on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Wueest comments that some of these hackers aren’t even in it for the money. They often do it just “for the fun of it” or to exert their power over their victims. This horrible form of cyber bullying involves hackers who feel a sense of pride, especially when they make strangers lose their composure or cry in front of their webcams.

This issue concerning the hacking of webcams has been discussed before, and in 2013, there were even rumors that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) could use webcams to spy on people.

These hackers/cyberbullies choose their victims from those who download malware which lets the former access the latter’s webcams. Initially used to gain log-in information or credit card details, malware is now being used for personal attacks.

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