Macbook Pro and iSight makes me paranoid

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by emir, May 18, 2010.

  1. emir macrumors 6502a

    emir

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Location:
    Istanbul
    #1
    Hey everyone, iSight camera on the MBP makes me paranoid. I mean, i've never used a laptop with built-in camera before, in fact i've never used a laptop before. When using a webcam on desktop i used it and unplugged it because of the fear of being watched.

    I mean how are we so sure somebody is not watching us or recording us? I don't want to put a black tape to my isight. Is there a way we can be certain? This idea freaks me out. All ideas welcomed.

    ps: reading 1984 makes you more and more paranoid about these issues. Big brother...
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    If the light is on, the cam is on. If the light is off, the cam is off. If you don't want to use tape, fold a piece of paper or cardboard and hang it over the lens, if you're that paranoid about it, but it's really unnecessary.
     
  3. Tiauguinho macrumors 6502a

    Tiauguinho

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #3
    If the iSight is on, a little green light will be on, so you can see if its being in use or not.

    However, the original iSight camera sure was nice with the closing ring on the front :)
     
  4. emir thread starter macrumors 6502a

    emir

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    Apr 5, 2008
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    Istanbul
    #4
    if somebody is watching us you can bet that their software is made NOT to turn on that green light. :)
     
  5. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #5
    You should seek mental help. Nobody is watching, the fact that you're asking about it on an internet forum proves that your life is uninteresting enough that nobody would watch anyway. Unless you have illegal or extramarital stuff going on in the room your laptop is in anyway, why would being watched matter?
     
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #6
    Just wear aluminum foil on your head, so they can't probe your brainwaves, too! :rolleyes:
     
  7. RT2020 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    #7
    Tape it over. And ware your tinfoil hat.
     
  8. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #8
    As long as you have control over your macbook pro and don't let others mess with it, it's unlikely anyone can install any sort of snooping software on there. Unless of course, you have no password protecting your user account.

    Beyond that, the only option is to use some tape or other physical item to block the lens if you're really that paranoid.

    A drill would also be a very effective, though very permanent, "fix."
     
  9. Fireproof! macrumors 6502a

    Fireproof!

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    Dec 1, 2008
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    Frisco, TX
    #9
    Trust me - no one wants to see you doing that. ;)
     
  10. Rogue. macrumors regular

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    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Telford. UK.
    #11
    We are all being watched, all of the time... Didn't you know this? :D
     
  11. BlackZ macrumors member

    BlackZ

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    #12
    I think you should be more scared that all your internet traffic is being monitored rather than somebody watching your face.

    You should just dump your laptop and leave the internet in general if you are that paranoid, including your cellphone which probably has a cam and can be remotely turned on by the government ...

    be scared already

    PS: The answer was there already: green light on = camera on , Green Light off = Camera off, no there is no way to turn of that light besides cracking it manually
     
  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #13
    And we answered you, telling you that if the light isn't on, the cam isn't on. But you chose to challenge the very answers you asked for. By your own admission, you've "never used a laptop with built-in camera before". Well, most of the rest of us have, so common sense would suggest that you accept the answers we've given you. If you don't like the answers, don't ask the questions.

    And insulting members is a great way to get yourself banned from the site, as it's number one on the list of Instantly Bannable Offenses.
     
  13. ReallyBigFeet macrumors 68030

    ReallyBigFeet

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    #14
    I've read in these forums and elsewhere that the green indicator light is connected to the hardware of the camera itself at such a low level that it is almost impossible to disable it.

    Then again, I emphasize the words "almost impossible." I'm sure someone out there has already written malicious code to defeat it and smuggled it in via some otherwise-innocent looking app.

    In fact, the recent news case surrounding that high school that was using the built-in iSight cams on the school-issued Macs had several students reporting that the pictures taken of them gave no green-light indication that the camera had been activated.

    I'm sure where theres a will, theres a way.




    By the way, nice shirt. :rolleyes:
     
  14. eng42ine macrumors 68000

    eng42ine

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    Location:
    Running into a burning building...
    #15
    LOL, well played..
     
  15. rmbrown09 macrumors 6502a

    rmbrown09

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    Jan 25, 2010
    #16
    Back when I had a PC one time, I downloaded a file that wasn't right, it didn't install or do what it said. I didn't think anything of it.
    The whole next day the camera on the HP notebook would pop on for a while, and then off. It has a little white light, much like the macbooks green one.

    I didn't really think anything of that.

    Next day my system was corrupted, keylogger had all my login info everywhere, pornos were popping up faster than I could X them.. it sucked.

    But what bothered me the most was that I was sure somebody had been watching me all day...

    But hey it's a mac no worries right....
     
  16. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #17
    Mac Malware Info
     
  17. rmbrown09 macrumors 6502a

    rmbrown09

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    Jan 25, 2010
  18. vant macrumors 65816

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    Jul 1, 2009
    #19
    Don't worry about it.
     
  19. PAC88 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    #20
    I believe in conspiracy theories and don't trust anything.. so I'm also paranoid that Apple or someone is watching me through the cam.. I bet you it's true..


    I seriously just put a piece of black electrical tape over the cam. It makes me feel better.


    Trust nothing! not even the little green light
     
  20. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #21
    Put tape over the webcam and go see a shrink.
     
  21. smithrh macrumors 68020

    smithrh

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    #22
    http://www.tuaw.com/2010/03/08/remote-webcam-activation-now-disabled-in-software-that-led-to-co/

    So, people are spied on with the webcam - surprised no one's brought this up yet, it's a high-profile case and involves Macs...

    However, the article does state that the green camera light did come on. I searched for an article that mentioned this, as I hadn't seen that particular aspect being brought up in the other articles I've read.

    Another "however" is that the school board has the spying software installed onto the laptops before being distributed to the students - as others have noted, there aren't any known vectors for this sort of software to be distributed maliciously at this time.
     
  22. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #23

    Just for the sake of playing Devil's Advocate, and because this is a very real case, there is the Pennsylvania School District incident. In short, a school district in a philly suburb gave their high school students macbooks that came with spy software pre-installed. Ostensibly this was to help track any stolen laptops, but there is actual evidence that suggests school district officials took photos of kids whose laptops were not reported stolen, while they were at home, when they were sleeping, and possibly more compromising situations.

    An unanswered question in this case is whether in fact the indicator light came on when photos were being snapped. It probably did, but that doesn't help much if you're sleeping with your macbook turned on.

    One other thing to point out though: this was not malware. The school district administrator clearly had administrator/root access to every macbook purchased, owned and issued by this school district, and so clearly could install any software he or she wanted. This is not true of any mac product your personally own and is in your control. Keep it that way, and you should be fine.

    And of course, the moral of this story is that if someone comes bearing gifts in the form of an expensive laptop, be wary of their motives and be wary of the software installed.
     
  23. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    Central US
    #24
    Give the guy a break. Its not like he's the only person who's ever considered this. And yes, when Apple released the original iSight camera it had a closable lens for this EXACT reason. To the OP: If you're really that concerned about it, you're going to either have to deal with some tape over the camera or you should just disable it completely.
     
  24. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #25
    First, as you mentioned, the green light comes on anytime the cam is in use, so this can't happen without the user knowing about it.

    Second, as you also mentioned, this remote activation of the webcam is not possible (and was not possible in this case) without first having physical access to the computers to install the software.

    The OP doesn't have to worry about this, as long as they don't install (or let someone else install) such software on their computer.
     

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