Webcam hacking and randomware: Man videoed with pants off then blackmailed

Have you ever been caught doing something that should have been kept private? Unfortunately, webcam hackers can turn private moments into public humiliation… and that’s what happened to a Melbourne man just recently.

Once his computer was infected with ransomware, hackers were able to record footage from his webcam. And he was recorded in bed… pleasuring himself. The hackers then demanded $10,000 to prevent the video from being leaked to all his Facebook friends.¬†Read the full article here:

Webcam hackers caught me wanking, demanded $10k ransom

Many people don’t know the dangers of webcam hacking. It’s a hacker’s best friend – recording your private moments and then demanding random money in exchange for keeping it private!

How can we protect ourselves? I’ve been using sticky labels¬†over my webcam for some time now – not because I visit dubious websites, but because operating systems and applications are so complex nowadays, it’s simply not possible to know what personal information gets transmitted, and to whom.

Apparently I’m not alone. In this report from The Guardian, Mark Zuckerberg does one step further, taping over both his webcam and microphone.

Mark Zuckerberg tapes over his webcam. Should you?

There are many security measures that we should take to protect ourselves – from using anti-virus and anti-malware software on Windows, to using personal firewalls, to using a VPN whenever connecting to unprotected open wifi connections.

Other basic measures for privacy include using encrypted email and encrypting all sensitive information that gets stored in the cloud. Unfortunately, encrypted email is a pain to use, and none of the big cloud storage companies provide encrypted storage to the level of privacy that I want. That’s why we’re developing our own encryption technologies that will work with existing cloud services and that are designed and audited by independent experts in the field of cryptography. Stay tuned for some product announcements in the next 3-6 months!