7 Replies Latest reply: Oct 10, 2009 10:15 AM by Baby Boomer (USofA)
bechard Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Watching CSI-LV tonight got me thinking about my macbook's built-in isight camera and it's susceptibility to hackers.
After searching the internet for an answer I was surprised to find the question often asked but never did I come across a straight answer.
Could not a hacker bypass the green light on the isight camera and view or record an unwitting macbook user?

Macbook5, 2; 4g Ram; 13", Mac OS X (10.6), First Mac, Various ipods
  • Pastahelmet Level 2 Level 2 (360 points)
    No, it cannot be bypassed in software or firmware, as it's wired directly into the camera circuitry.
  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,785 points)
    bechard wrote:
    Watching CSI-LV tonight got me thinking about my macbook's built-in isight camera and it's susceptibility to hackers.
    After searching the internet for an answer I was surprised to find the question often asked but never did I come across a straight answer.
    Could not a hacker bypass the green light on the isight camera and view or record an unwitting macbook user?


    No.

    Unless an "administrator" of your particular Mac has installed, activated, and authorized Apple Remote Desktop or some other software for remotely operating your Mac, nobody can be watching you without your explicit permission and action.




    EZ Jim




    Mac Pro Quad Core (Early 2009) 2.93Ghz w/Mac OS X (10.6.1)  MacBook Pro (13 inch, Mid 2009) 2.26GHz (10.6.1)

    G5DP1.8GHz (10.5.8) G4 PowerBook 1.67GHz (10.4.11) iBookSE 366MHz (10.3.9) LED Cinema Display External iSight
  • Baby Boomer (USofA) Level 9 Level 9 (56,800 points)
    I saw that episode. That guy was a "super" hacker. LOL
    I loved his screensaver. The one Lawrence Fishburn looked at closely & the hackers screensaver face moved closer also. ROTFLMAO.





  • bechard Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    That episode got me thinking. Also, a couple of months back there was a story circulating here in Canada that some university students in Quebec discovered computers located in China, were among other things, remote controlling cameras on computers in Tibet. So it is possible, but I was hoping to find that Apple computers, being the supreme machines they are, would have foresaw such a vulnerability.
    I used to be one of the types of people that thought if you are doing nothing wrong then you have noting to worry about. But people who have done nothing wrong are appearing on certain free governments list (like the no fly list) and they have something to worry about.
    Maybe I am naive to think that personal computers connecting to internet can remain personal. Maybe a simple shutter on future models would enhance the personal computer.
    Maybe, "My camera doesn't work","Is your shutter open?" is a big deal.
  • Baby Boomer (USofA) Level 9 Level 9 (56,800 points)
    Don't believe everything you see on TV shows that you see Macs being used *especially the CSI series.* If you watch CSI-Miami you will note their iMacs can project 3D images (holograms) in the air. And to top it off, the actors can move these images around like a touchpad. Too funny.





  • Ralph Johns (UK) Level 9 Level 9 (69,870 points)
    There is a BBC made comedy called "Absolute Power" starring Stephen Fry.

    He is a known Mac Fan. The show is dotted with all sorts of Macs.

    I was catching up last night on a re-run on satellite based channel.
    They had him, as the main character, video chatting Full screen with No local Video showing (So far so good as iChat can do that)

    They had an External iSight mounted on top of a MacBook Pro. (Ok so far) but the mount was over the Internal iSight (Still workable).

    Wait for it...








    There was no Firewire lead to the computer.



    8:42 PM Friday; October 9, 2009
  • Baby Boomer (USofA) Level 9 Level 9 (56,800 points)