Cybercrime involves computers and networks, and more recently smartphones. Smartphones are so embedded in our daily lives and have become an extension of us. In our selfie culture, the advanced camera and video capabilities of smartphones are popular in capturing special moments in real-time with the click of a button. Therein lies a privacy vulnerability of our data which could, with and without our knowing, be targeted by attackers and cybercriminals.
Devices connected to a network and the Internet may be used in committing a crime, or they may be the targets. Cybercrime involves offences related to hacking, copyright infringement, unwarranted mass-surveillance, sextortion, child pornography, and child grooming. Privacy concerns related to cybercrime is associated with the interception and disclosure of confidential information. Incidences of both governmental and non-state transgressions cybercrimes, including espionage and financial theft have been reported. What is seldom mentioned is that someone can remotely take control of our laptops’ and smartphones’ cameras to spy on us.
Someone can virtually be watching you through your own webcam, but how do they do it? Some of the more common ways that hackers use to gain control of your laptop’s webcam is by using RATs (Remote Administration Tools). A RAT is a program or software that allows a third party to take control of a system in a different location and allow them to operate it. Hackers can install the RATs through services like peer-to-peer sharing platforms.
Another way a hacker may take control is through malicious codes hiding in a web application. Without adequate security, the hacker can take control of a system. Good cybersecurity may help prevent some of these codes and malware from running on your computer. Additionally, botnets can be used to perform distributed denial-of-service attack, steal data, send spam, and allow the attacker to access the device and its connection. If the person controlling a network is a cybercriminal, they can introduce malware into private computers, allowing them to take full control of the computers.