Hacking: The enemy of economic efficiency

Hacking: What is it?

Hacking refers to activities that seek to compromise digital devices, such as computers, smartphones, tablets, and even entire networks. Though hacking might not always be for ill-intended purposes, yet in modern times most references to hacking characterize it as an unlawful activity by cybercriminals which is motivated by financial gains, spying, and even just for “fun”.

The general belief is that hackers are rogue programmers skilled at modifying computer hardware or software so it can be used in ways outside the intent of the original developer’s intent. But this is a limited view that fails to take into account the variety of reasons why someone turns to hacking.

Actually, hacking is typical in nature which involves creating false advertising that deposits malware in a drive-by attack requiring no user interaction. However, hackers can also use psychology to trick the user into clicking on a malicious attachment or providing personal data. These tactics are referred to as “Social engineering”.

“Camera hack” is the most common form of hacking nowadays. As such, hacking has evolved from teenage mischief into a billion-dollar growth business. 

Camera Hack: One’s mobile & laptop cameras are vulnerable

Whether one uses Zoom, Skype, or Microsoft Teams, the webcam on one’s home PC or laptop has been very active in the time of the pandemic. Most of the above-said devices which one uses for work-study or virtual socializing have cameras built into them.

However,245 this privilege which one enjoys leaves oneself vulnerable to an online attack known as Camfecting, a technical name for ‘Camera hack’266. This is when control of one’s camera is taken over by a hacker. Research has suggested that most of the devices (globally 15000 in numbers) are readily accessible by hackers, without even needing to be hacked.301

Tips to avoid ‘Camera Hack’

When one’s laptop is turned off, it’s webcam cannot be activated. However, most people leave their laptops in hibernation or sleep mode. In this case, the device can be woken up by a camera hacker and the camera turned on. Therefore the best way is to keep covered one’s webcam358 covered. Even Mark Zuckerberg does so.

Also, one must practice ‘cyber hygiene’ at home.372Placing a piece of black tape over a camera is one simple low tech solution for webcam hacking. Also one should turn off the computer when not in use. These simple yet effective acts will counter ‘Camera Hack’ successfully.