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  1. #1
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    Hackers & Cameras

    I saw a story on that hacker that got caught after something like 13 years of hacking into Apple devices, mostly laptops and computers. He was getting information and actually using the devices to spy on people by taking control of them and either watching in on their life or listening in on them through mics. How creepy is that!?

    Knowing it happened for this long without the dude being caught makes me a bit more paranoid. I actually cover all my cameras when I am not using them. I will turn my webcam back and hang it point down off my monitor and I will keep tape over my laptop webcams and the front facing cameras of my phones. I know it sounds silly but this is something I always been freaked out by.

    Do you take any precautions here to prevent spyware and the life from watching/listening to you and your family?

  2. #2
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    Though I'm no expert on hacking, with what I've learned over the years and studying computing at college, I'll guess that the story is a bit exaggerated. While the guy may have been good at hacking, most of the time the main culprit behind security breaches is the victim him/herself and common user errors.

    Yes, it is very creepy. I also find it funny how Macs are often touted as "virus-free" and their users often criticise Windows for its alleged higher amount of security holes. I guess this suggests otherwise!

    However, I don't think you should be paranoid. So many users set poor passwords, or in some cases no password at all! I suggest trying out Dashlane. It can help you make all of your passwords unique with a master password to manage them. The passwords are random and almost uncrackable, and even if one of the passwords is somehow leaked, it wouldn't be usable for other accounts. I can guarantee passwords are the main reason here. Make sure you have good ones, install an antivirus like Avast and you'll be fine.

    I imagine there are programs that can show which devices are in use, so even if that hacker named 4chan managed to get into your webcam it would show that it's currently being used, or sometimes webcams have LED lights that do this anyway.

    Gene: "Have faith in me guys, enjoy the ride—you're in good hands. I can handle this. I can do it!"
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  3. #3
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    The malware or "spyware" was called Fruitefly. https://www.zdnet.com/article/fbi-so...y-mac-malware/
    You can read about it there if you'd like. I don't think it was being exaggerated to a point where there is nothing to worry about. If people like this can be out there and not be caught for years, there can be so much damage done.

  4. #4
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    I do know a bit about this subject. Mantis is absolutely right, a lot of vulnerabilities are opened up via the victim themselves. Hacking is by no means wizardry, although it can seem that way. From what I've read about Fruitfly, it seems to take advantage of open ports to gain access to a user's system. Think of it this way: locking the front and back doors to your home is a good idea for safety reasons, but leaving the ground floor window in the second bedroom wide open is not: think of that window as an open port. Knowing your machine a bit and knowing what each of these ports is used for is a good start, and learning how to shut off the ports you don't really need open all the time is helpful as well.

    Also, take a look at what programs you have set to start running immediately when you boot up your machine: chances are, if you're machine takes a while to boot it's due to a lot of different programs trying to start all at the same time. A good security tip: think of each of these programs as an open window. My laptop is almost 7 years old, but it still only takes a minute or less to boot up. That's because I don't have unnecessary programs launching on startup (Twitch, Skype, Adobe, etc.)

    And no, covering cameras isn't a bad idea. Double your safety though by ensuring your webcam isn't set to boot up on startup, learn what port it runs off of, and just turn off that port if you don't really use it.

    Also, turn off RDP. Just don't have that running at all.
    If you want to grant your own wish, then you should clear your own path to it. - Okabe Rintarou

  5. Informative KorinKitty thinks that this is informative
  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alchytect View Post
    I do know a bit about this subject. Mantis is absolutely right, a lot of vulnerabilities are opened up via the victim themselves. Hacking is by no means wizardry, although it can seem that way. From what I've read about Fruitfly, it seems to take advantage of open ports to gain access to a user's system. Think of it this way: locking the front and back doors to your home is a good idea for safety reasons, but leaving the ground floor window in the second bedroom wide open is not: think of that window as an open port. Knowing your machine a bit and knowing what each of these ports is used for is a good start, and learning how to shut off the ports you don't really need open all the time is helpful as well.

    Also, take a look at what programs you have set to start running immediately when you boot up your machine: chances are, if you're machine takes a while to boot it's due to a lot of different programs trying to start all at the same time. A good security tip: think of each of these programs as an open window. My laptop is almost 7 years old, but it still only takes a minute or less to boot up. That's because I don't have unnecessary programs launching on startup (Twitch, Skype, Adobe, etc.)

    And no, covering cameras isn't a bad idea. Double your safety though by ensuring your webcam isn't set to boot up on startup, learn what port it runs off of, and just turn off that port if you don't really use it.

    Also, turn off RDP. Just don't have that running at all.
    I mean companies sell covers for webcams for a reason. I know I am not the only one thinking of privacy. For the longest time I have been viewed as paranoid but I see nothing wrong with just protecting myself.

    And you are right, hackers for the most part don't go after individuals but vulnerabilities people create themselves. Like taking nude selfies on your smart phone or any internet connective portable device... it is not a good idea because it leaves a great deal of your privacy at risk. If I think anything is off are strange with my computer, I make sure to run extra scans. I also avoid things people typically don't today like Facebook ads, fishy e mails, and downloading 3rd party software.

  7. #6
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    Also, I managed to dig up some information on this 4chan guy! Check out this article in LA Times

    In all seriousness though, it's never a bad idea to be cautious, especially with the decline of privacy. Pretty soon everything will be voice-activated, so muffling your speakers so that hackers can't utilize your voice to make purchases with Alexa in the next 3-5 years may become a thing.
    If you want to grant your own wish, then you should clear your own path to it. - Okabe Rintarou

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  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alchytect View Post
    Also, I managed to dig up some information on this 4chan guy! Check out this article in LA Times
    Damn you. Looks like you might have beaten me at the game!

    Also, I agree, some level of paranoia is helpful and useful. Take any risqué photos on a dedicated camera! As for third-party software, so long as you do your homework you'll be fine.

    Whatever you do, don't get like this guy...

    Gene: "Have faith in me guys, enjoy the ride—you're in good hands. I can handle this. I can do it!"
    Jim: "How do you know?"
    Gene: "I don't!"
    Jim: "I knew it."
    Gene: "That's okay. There's a first time for everything!"

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  11. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alchytect View Post
    Also, I managed to dig up some information on this 4chan guy! Check out this article in LA Times

    In all seriousness though, it's never a bad idea to be cautious, especially with the decline of privacy. Pretty soon everything will be voice-activated, so muffling your speakers so that hackers can't utilize your voice to make purchases with Alexa in the next 3-5 years may become a thing.
    I don't even mess with Alexa. I am not a huge Amazon shopper though and I like to click around and wait before I buy something I don't need. I know a lot of people love the convenience of using those devices but it takes the fun out of online shopping for me.

    I am getting to the point where I think the only "smart" devices that will be in my house is a phone and my computer. I am not a fan off everything being connected.

  12. #9
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    Hackers & Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Mantis View Post
    Damn you. Looks like you might have beaten me at the game!
    ...I had been winning the game for so long! ..til now

    Way to take me out Mantis! Name:  Roshi Kamehameha.gif
Views: 8
Size:  1.62 MB

    Also, if you haven't heard of Cylance's new Antivirus software, it's some really cool stuff. It runs on complex machine learning algorithms. It can detect threats far into the future, up to 3 years almost. AI is awesome!
    If you want to grant your own wish, then you should clear your own path to it. - Okabe Rintarou

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