Is it possible for someone to hack camera/mic?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by AceC, Nov 16, 2016.

  1. AceC macrumors member

    Dec 10, 2013
    This may be a little ridiculous, but I was just curious if it was possible for someone to somehow hack the camera or microphone on a MBP and be able to listen/view or record what they would see/hear. Is it also possible for a particular website to do the same?
  2. dk808 macrumors 6502a

    May 13, 2015
  3. PaulWog Suspended

    Jun 28, 2011
    Yes, it is possible.

    However, it is highly unlikely + complex. Plus that kind of malware/virus/spyware would more than likely be made for Windows before OS X, making it even rarer.

    Most people who make viruses want to either destroy your computer (anarchists), or make money by stealing passwords/credit/identity info, or tricking you into paying them to save your computer.
  4. AceC thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 10, 2013
    Thanks for the reply; makes sense.

    However, if by some rare chance that type of spyware existed, how would you know if you had it?
  5. Pootmatoot macrumors 6502a

    Nov 17, 2014
    Yes, it's possible. The light is hardwired in though, so that should always be on when it's active. There may well be work arounds to that though.

    If it panics you... just keep a small sticker over it when not in use. That's pretty standard procedure in a lot of offices, and it's not wildly paranoid... just slightly paranoid ;)
  6. AceC thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 10, 2013
    What about the microphone though? You wouldn't know if someone had gained access to that, though?
  7. TheBacklash macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2013
    Was an article a few weeks ago about this, extremely hard for a Mac to have camera on and the USER not knowing... see that little green led next to camera? yep, hardwired to the camera.

    They say it's possible... but more likely to have the camera stream hijacked. (you have the camera on legitimately talking with someone, and the stream is compromised)

    Beyond that malware specifically targeting the Mac is rare. If we are talking windows... place tape over the camera. ;) For mac, you can place tape over if you like..

    Best thing you can do, don't install ANY software unless you are certain of it's origin. (respected company)
    Including browser extensions...

    If you think you have some malware installed somehow, run some Mac antivirus. Has to be something like malwarebytes for mac right? I've never looked tbh.
  8. Pootmatoot macrumors 6502a

    Nov 17, 2014
    There's a reason non-govt phones are banned inside classified government meetings.

    But unless you're a spy, or spend your days chanting your credit card number, do you really have need to panic?
  9. AceC thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 10, 2013
    Thanks for the reply; that helps a lot. What about the microphone though, is that a concern at all? What if someone hijacked that? Could they be listening all the time?
  10. TheBacklash macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2013
    Possible, can't rule that out.

    Did some searching:
    There is a malware bytes app for mac! Run this, if they don't find anything.. there isn't anything installed.
    Do the deepest scan possible, not a quick scan. (if that is an option)
  11. AceC thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 10, 2013
    Alright, I'll look into that. Also, wouldn't someone need your Mac's password to access mic/webcam, as I imagine installing spyware would require that?
  12. rocknblogger macrumors 68020


    Apr 2, 2011
    New Jersey
  13. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000


    Mar 17, 2007
    Yes they would and you have bigger worries than the camera and mic if they have that then all your data is available to them as well.
  14. Yoshimura macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2012
    Won't you need to first grant access in Accessibility?
  15. UnluckyXIII macrumors 6502

    Feb 20, 2014
    Well you know what they say, don't talk drug deals in front of your Mac ;)
  16. TheBacklash macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2013
    Yes, thats why I was mentioning only installing from trusted companies. So many people will just install some random Facebook thing that pops up, just because.
  17. Spoony Bard macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2007
  18. shifomu macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2014
    You didn't by any chance finish watching Snowden did you? I was asking myself the exact same question after I finished watching it haha! I even got as far as considering the hardware removal of the microphone in my rMB 12"! (Apparently it is possible)

    But then I figured; whenever I am near my Mac I have my phone which would be another device that could be snooped on...

    I don't think we can win!

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