Friday, 14 Jun, 2013 Technology

Hackers Can Gain Access to Your Webcam via Web-Browser


Recently it has been (once again) proved that hackers are able to take pictures using your webcam with the help of a browser.

The issue was sketched out by security consultant Egor Homakov. He says that the hack involves the use of a few old tricks. Mainly it takes advantage of Flash's requirement to openly grant a website permission before it can access their webcam or microphone.

Generally speaking, the demo makes use of several fancy CSS/HTML tricks to provide Flash's permission quickly in a transparent layer, including the now invisible "Allow" button right above something the user might actually click - for example "Play" button on a video.

Despite the fact that, in a post on its security blog Adobe writes that the company managed to fix the bug that allows such manipulating with the webcam via Flash Player, the thing still works.

The possibility to access remote webcam was tested on the newly build of Chrome for Mac and on IE10. The hack, though, seems to be patched on the newly launched Safari and Firefox. When the hack works, you can only identify that someone has accessed your webcam by the blinking of the small LED indicator.

In case you want to test the hack, click here. If your web-browser simply does not visibly render the permission box and if you click the play button and your webcam takes a picture, that the failed the test. But in case the browser shows the permission box or if it blocks the click, it means you're safe.

If you want to protect yourself against such hacks, you have several options. For example, you can always tape up your webcam. You can also use Firefox with NoScript and the like.

[via TechCrunch]

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