The Hacker News Logo
Subscribe to Newsletter

The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: webcam hacking

Zoom RCE Flaw Also Affects Its Rebranded Versions RingCentral and Zhumu

Zoom RCE Flaw Also Affects Its Rebranded Versions RingCentral and Zhumu

July 16, 2019Swati Khandelwal
The same security vulnerabilities that were recently reported in Zoom for macOS also affect two other popular video conferencing software that under the hood, are just a rebranded version of Zoom video conferencing software. Security researchers confirmed The Hacker News that RingCentral, used by over 350,000 businesses, and Zhumu, a Chinese version of Zoom, also runs a hidden local web server on users' computers, just like Zoom for macOS. The controversial local web server that has been designed to offer an automatic click-to-join feature was found vulnerable to remote command injection attacks through 3rd-party websites. Security researcher Jonathan Leitschuh initially provided a proof-of-concept demonstrating how the vulnerable web server  could eventually allow attackers to turn on users laptop's webcam and microphone remotely. The flaw was later escalated to remote code execution attack by another security researcher, Karan Lyons , who has now published a new v
Zoom Video Conferencing for macOS Also Vulnerable to Critical RCE Flaw

Zoom Video Conferencing for macOS Also Vulnerable to Critical RCE Flaw

July 13, 2019Mohit Kumar
The chaos and panic that the disclosure of privacy vulnerability in the highly popular and widely-used Zoom video conferencing software created earlier this week is not over yet. As suspected, it turns out that the core issue—a locally installed web server by the software—was not just allowing any website to turn on your device webcam, but also could allow hackers to take complete control over your Apple's Mac computer remotely. Reportedly, the cloud-based Zoom meeting platform for macOS has also been found vulnerable to another severe flaw (CVE-2019-13567) that could allow remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on a targeted system just by convincing users into visiting an innocent looking web-page. As explained in our previous report by Swati Khandelwal, the Zoom conferencing app contained a critical vulnerability ( CVE-2019-13450 ) that resides in the way its click-to-join feature is implemented, which automatically turns on users' webcam when they visit an in
Flaw in Zoom Video Conferencing Software Lets Websites Hijack Mac Webcams

Flaw in Zoom Video Conferencing Software Lets Websites Hijack Mac Webcams

July 08, 2019Swati Khandelwal
If you use Zoom video conferencing software on your Mac computer—then beware—any website you're visiting in your web browser can turn on your device camera without your permission. Ironically, even if you had ever installed the Zoom client on your device and simply uninstalled it, a remote attacker can still activate your webcam. Zoom is one of the most popular cloud-based meeting platforms that provide video, audio, and screen sharing options to users, allowing them to host webinars, teach online courses, conduct online training, or join virtual meetings online. In a Medium post published today, cybersecurity researcher Jonathan Leitschuh disclosed details of an unpatched critical security vulnerability (CVE-2019-13450) in the Zoom client app for Apple Mac computers, which if combined with a separate flaw, could allow attackers to execute arbitrary code on the targeted systems remotely. Jonathan responsibly reported the security vulnerability to the affected company ov
This is How CIA Disables Security Cameras During Hollywood-Style Operations

This is How CIA Disables Security Cameras During Hollywood-Style Operations

August 03, 2017Swati Khandelwal
In last 20 years, we have seen hundreds of caper/heist movies where spies or bank robbers hijack surveillance cameras of secure premises to either stop recording or set up an endless loop for covert operations without leaving any evidence. Whenever I see such scenes in a movie, I wonder and ask myself: Does this happen in real-life? Yes, it does, trust me—at least CIA agents are doing this. WikiLeaks has just unveiled another classified CIA project, dubbed ' Dumbo ,' which details how CIA agents hijack and manipulate webcams and microphones in Hollywood style "to gain and exploit physical access to target computers in CIA field operations." The Dumbo CIA project involves a USB thumb drive equipped with a Windows hacking tool that can identify installed webcams and microphones, either connected locally, wired or wirelessly via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Once identified, the Dumbo program allows the CIA agents to: Mute all microphones Disables all network ad
Chrome Flaw Allows Sites to Secretly Record Audio/Video Without Indication

Chrome Flaw Allows Sites to Secretly Record Audio/Video Without Indication

May 30, 2017Swati Khandelwal
What if your laptop is listening to everything that is being said during your phone calls or other people near your laptop and even recording video of your surrounding without your knowledge? Sounds really scary! Isn't it? But this scenario is not only possible but is hell easy to accomplish. A UX design flaw in the Google's Chrome browser could allow malicious websites to record audio or video without alerting the user or giving any visual indication that the user is being spied on. AOL developer Ran Bar-Zik reported the vulnerability to Google on April 10, 2017, but the tech giant declined to consider this vulnerability a valid security issue, which means that there is no official patch on the way. How Browsers Works With Camera & Microphone Before jumping onto vulnerability details, you first need to know that web browser based audio-video communication relies on WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communications) protocol – a collection of communications protocols th
Mac Malware Can Secretly Spy On Your Webcam and Mic – Here's How to Stay Safe

Mac Malware Can Secretly Spy On Your Webcam and Mic – Here's How to Stay Safe

October 06, 2016Mohit Kumar
Apple Mac Computers are considered to be much safer than Windows at keeping viruses and malware out of its environment, but that's simply not true anymore. It's not because Mac OS X is getting worse every day, but because hackers are getting smart and sophisticated these days. The bad news for Mac users is that malware targeting webcams and microphones has now come up for Mac laptops as well. Patrick Wardle, an ex-NSA staffer who heads up research at security intelligence firm Synack, discovered a way for Mac malware to tap into your live feeds from Mac's built-in webcam and microphone to locally record you even without detection. Wardle is the same researcher who has discovered a number of security weaknesses in Apple products, including ways to bypass the Gatekeeper protections in OS X. Wardle also released a free tool called RansomWhere? earlier this year that has generic detection capabilities for Mac OS X ransomware variants. Wardle is scheduled to present h
FBI Director — You Should Cover Your Webcam With Tape

FBI Director — You Should Cover Your Webcam With Tape

September 15, 2016Mohit Kumar
Should you put a tape or a sticker over the lens of your laptop's webcam? Yes, even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and FBI Director James Comey do that. Covering your laptop's webcam might be a hell cheap and good idea to guard against hackers and intruders who might want to watch your private life and environment through your devices. In fact, Comey recently came out defending his own use of tape to cover his personal laptop's webcam. People Are Responsible for Their Safety, Security & Privacy During a conference at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, when Comey was asked that he still put tape over his cameras at home, he replied: "Heck yeah, heck yeah. And also, I get mocked for a lot of things, and I am much mocked for that, but I hope people lock their cars… lock your doors at night. I have an alarm system. If you have an alarm system you should use it, I use mine." Comey went on to explain that it was common practice at
Does your WebCam Crash after Windows 10 Anniversary Update? Here’s How to Fix It

Does your WebCam Crash after Windows 10 Anniversary Update? Here's How to Fix It

August 20, 2016Swati Khandelwal
If your webcam has stopped working after installing recently-released Microsoft's big Anniversary Update for Windows 10 , you are not alone. With some significant changes to improve Windows experience, Windows 10 Anniversary Update includes the support for webcams that has rendered a number of different webcams inoperable, causing serious issues for not only consumers but also the enterprise. The problem is that Microsoft added some new ways for applications to access webcams with Microsoft's new Windows Camera Frame Server, preventing webcams from using two particular compression formats—H.264 and MJPEG. Microsoft decided that the Camera Frame Server should only receive an uncompressed YUY2 encoding stream from the webcam, which is affecting far more devices than Microsoft expected, causing Millions of cameras to crash. This is the reason why your camera hangs, freezes, or simply not works when you try to do a video calling with your friend over Skype. Brad Sams of
So, FBI Director also Puts Tape Over His Webcam

So, FBI Director also Puts Tape Over His Webcam

April 13, 2016Mohit Kumar
What do you do to protect your ' Privacy ' while using your computer? FBI Director James Comey uses tape to cover up his laptop webcam to ensure Privacy. Yes, you heard it right. During the Q&A session at Kenyon College last week, Comey said that he uses tape to cover his laptop webcam in order to mitigate the danger of secret surveillance. While giving a speech about encryption and privacy, Comey repeated his argument that " absolute privacy " hampers the law enforcement and has never existed in America – until now, when by default encryption offered by big tech giants created boundaries where law enforcement can't enter, even with a court order. This isn't the first time Comey made this kind of statement. Comey has always suggested tech companies to adopt encryption techniques that help federal agencies intercept end-to-end encrypted communications when necessary. But after his speech, Comey said something that generated hilarity
Web-based DropCam Surveillance Systems Vulnerable to Hackers

Web-based DropCam Surveillance Systems Vulnerable to Hackers

July 15, 2014Wang Wei
The popular home surveillance webcam service DropCam that keep an eye on your house when you aren't there, can be used as a weapon against you by the cybercriminals, claimed a pair of researchers. San Francisco-based DropCam, last month announced it would be acquired by Google's Nest for $555 million in cash, makes home-monitoring cameras for the past five years, which allow users to keep track of what's going on inside their homes using a small surveillance camera. Two researchers named Patrick Wardle and Colby Moore of Synack who discovered the weakness in the Wi-Fi enabled video monitoring system, which they will demonstrate at the DEFCON 22 Hacker Conference in Las Vegas next month. This WiFi-enabled security camera, that comes for $149 or $199, depending on video quality, requires little-to-no-effort to maintain. You plug it in, get it up on your WiFi, and all is set. If you want to check in on your cameras remotely, it cost you nothing, and if you want DropCam
Alleged BlackShades Malware Co-Author pleads not Guilty

Alleged BlackShades Malware Co-Author pleads not Guilty

May 31, 2014Swati Khandelwal
A Swedish man accused of being involved in the creation of the malicious software used to infect over half a million systems in more than dozens of countries, has pleaded not guilty in New York on Thursday to computer hacking charges brought against him. Alex Yucel, 24, who is the co-author of the Blackshades Remote Access Trojan (RAT), owned and operate an organization called Blackshades, which sold the notorious software to the other people and hackers across the country for prices ranging from $40 to $50. This allowed the hackers to remotely control the victims' computers and to steal keystrokes, passwords and access to victims' private files, according to the authorities. Blackshades malware is designed to steal victims' usernames and passwords for email and Web services, instant messaging applications, FTP clients and lots more. In worst cases, the malicious software program even allows hackers to take remote control of users' computer and webcam to take photos or v
Your MacBook Camera could Spy on You without lighting up the warning light

Your MacBook Camera could Spy on You without lighting up the warning light

December 19, 2013Mohit Kumar
If you own Apple's MacBook, you should cover up it's webcam, because there's a possibility someone could be watching you. Like most webcams, the MacBook also has a tiny green light lets you know that the webcam is active, but it's possible for malware to disable this important privacy feature on older Mac computers ( models released before 2008 ). Matthew Brocker and Stephen Checkoway , students from Johns Hopkins University created a proof-of-concept app called " iSeeYou " that confirmed that MacBook iSight webcams can spy on their users without the warning light being activated. A young man recently pleaded guilty in court to extortion after he performed a remote hack on Miss Teen USA's webcam to secretly collect nude photos. It was revealed through court papers that the FBI has the ability to do the same thing with a variety of current laptops including Apple products. To make it possible, they created a modified version of the iSight firmware and t
Exclusive Offers

Sign up for cybersecurity newsletter and get latest news updates delivered straight to your inbox daily.