In March 2014 we reported at Naked Security about a spyware app for Google Glass that could take photos without the Glass display being lit.Mike Lady and Kim Paterson, graduate researchers at Cal Poly, in California, uploaded to Play Store a Google Glass spyware app (disguised as a note-taking app called Malnotes).If your laptop or desktop has a built-in webcam, be sure to have good computer security software installed (which you should have anyway, of course).
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But don’t place it directly over the lens or else it could leave a sticky residue.
You can also buy little stickers or covers to place over your laptop’s lens.
Sidor said his app worked so well it was “scary”: Allowing the camera to run in the background – without an indicator in the notification bar – is “inexcusable” and should be fixed by Google’s Android team, Sidor commented in his blog post.
There are other Android spyware apps readily available, such as m Spy, that allow snoops to access a device’s activity such as text messages, location, and even make audio recordings.
Some web browsers also notify you if your webcam is being activated and you may be prompted to agree.
Be sure your wireless network has strong security settings and a good password – not the default one that came with the router — to prevent outsiders from accessing your Wi-Fi network without your consent.You may think you’re downloading one thing, when in fact it’s carrying a hidden payload.Don’t click on attachments or any suspicious links in an email, text, or social media message.Spyware of this sort has been around for a long time for Windows – the malware called Blackshades for example, which hackers have used to secretly record victims with their computer’s webcam.This is the latest instance of an Android application that can hijack a smartphone or tablet’s camera for the same devious purpose.Most will have a small light illuminate when activated.