Believe it or not, a hacker could be spying on you through your MacBook Webcam right now. Yes, right now.
That’s because it’s possible for hackers or even the federal government to bypass the security feature in the iSight camera, researchers at Johns Hopkins University say.
The iSight camera typically lights up green when it’s on. That’s actually a security feature to notify you that the camera is on and that people may be able to see you.
Hackers, researchers have discovered, can use a piece of software called a Remote Administration Tool to get around that security feature. RAT allows people to control a computer from anywhere on the Internet to turn on the iSight camera without turning on the light.
Hackers can accomplish this by reprogramming the chip inside the camera, known as a micro-controller, to allow the camera and light to be activated independently.
The vulnerability only affects earlier models of Apple’s products, like the iMac G5, and its early Intel-based iMacs, MacBooks, and MacBook Pros until around 2008. Though, it is possible that the attack could be used on newer systems, Twitter security expert Charlie Miller told the Washington Post.
So what can you do to protect yourself? Stick a piece of tape on your camera, Miller says. Seriously.