Virus/Trojan hack webcam/mic?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by okkhistorb, Dec 18, 2009.

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  1. okkhistorb macrumors newbie

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    Dec 18, 2009
    #1
    Hello, a long while ago, I torrented Photoshop CS3, skip forward to today, it's deleted and no longer in use, however I am wondering if a trojan came with the torrent and that it could hack my webcam/mic and view the webcam, and listen in on the mic, I'm worrying about this due to the fact that I do a lot of personal skype calls with family members who no longer live nearby, and that I don't have a change to see them. Is it possible that a virus exists that could hack a mac's webcam?

    Anyone?
     
  2. mstrze macrumors 68000

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    Nov 6, 2009
    #2
    Is it possble? Sure ANYTHING is possible.

    Is it likely? No.

    First of all viruses/trojans for the Mac are few and far between. PLUS, most of these programs are looking for ways to profit from you, either by using your computer to send out spam or by stealing your personal info.

    An attack to see and hear your personal discussions on webcam would be a very low-profit deal on two sides of the coin:

    1) Let's say you. for some reason, commonly mention your personal info or when you are going to be away from home or something like that. This trojan will somehow have to compile all of this info from the various computers it infects...meaning there is a server somewhere that would not only be storing all this video and audio, but somehow processing it to search for personal info. A very difficult task that would require MAJOR processing and storage.

    2) Let's say you are worried about something sexual. How many of these trojan-infected comps would there have to be before the programmer finally hits upon someone acting 'naughty' on cam? Unbelieveably boring for 99.9% of Skype calls I'd say. Even if most of your calls are racy...for the Trojan programmer to discover you in his huge batch of IP addresses would be the perverbial needle in a haystack.

    If you are still worried...wipe your drive and reload fresh programs from install disks....or disconnect your computer from the internet. NO problems for sure if you do that.
     
  3. okkhistorb thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    No, nothing naughty, LOL. So unlikely they're able to watch via webcam or hear via mic?
     
  4. mstrze macrumors 68000

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    #4
    Not exactly what I am saying.

    It's unlikely they would WANT to view your webcam or listen to your mic is what I am saying.

    Strictly speaking if they wanted to, they absolutely could view your webcam or listen to the mic.

    But would they want to is the question...and I think I answered that.

    You are approaching this as if you know with certainty that your computer is infected. If you think so...do the clean install I recommended or buy Norton or one of those virus programs to check/clean your computer if you are that worried about it.
     
  5. okkhistorb thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    They couldn't view when the webcam isn't in use or the internet isn't connected by saving whats viewed through the webcam?
     
  6. RITZFit macrumors 65816

    RITZFit

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    #6
    just like mstrze said "anything is possible" Its not worth it to worry yourself about this (you'll turn your hair grey worrying about all the junk a hacker "could" do). Is your computer doing anything specific that leads you to believe there is something wrong? If your really that concerned then just write your HD w/ zeros and do a clean install.
     
  7. mstrze macrumors 68000

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    #7
    In talking with friends 'in the know' hackers could not access your webcam if it wasn't already on. If you have a built-in Mac webcam, the green light will always be on when the webcam is operating. So if there were some cam-grabbing trojan, you would see the green light on your Mac's webcam while it was operating.

    Listen to RITZfit and me...it's not worth worrying . And a clean install will alleviate any and all worries if, for some reason, you are having symptoms that would lead you to believe you have a trojan.
     
  8. okkhistorb thread starter macrumors newbie

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  9. mstrze macrumors 68000

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    #9
    My programmer friend has said many have tried unsuccessfully to hack a friend's laptop or desktop Mac camera without turning on the green light.
    The green light always is on when the camera is operational.

    Notice I said a 'friend's laptop or desktop'...it's not an easy prospect necessary. And as I have said before it's a very low return investment. Someone who shares your network or computer would have much better luck than some anonymous Russian programmer....and that Russian programmer could care less about your conversations with the parents on Skype. He wants to make money.

    Didn't know what a rootkit is and had to do a search ;) .... but it sounds like you have been pouring over this stuff. It really REALLY sounds like you are extremely paranoid that you got a trojan. Again, I would highly recommend either a Norton-type program or a complete wipe and reinstall of your system. That's the only way you are going to stop obsessing over potential hacks.

    You seem to be asking us to tell you that there is absolutely no way a nefarious programmer could access your camera and there is no way for any of us to promise you that. I'd can say that it's a low probability of occurance...but that's as far as I would go and I have already covered all of that above. :)
     
  10. okkhistorb thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 18, 2009
    #10
    Well, alright, thanks everyone for your advice.

    Phil.

    I guess I'll won't be torrenting again, LOL.

    Feel free to close the thread now.

    Phil.

    Also, forgot to mention, could they see what's on my screen?, or could they see on the area outside of the webcam?.

    It's just that reinstalling would be a huge pain. I do plan on upgrading my hd though due to the fact I want to start development with xcode and the 80gb hd isn't enough. LOL.

    Hello?

    Anyone?
     
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