Hackers Could Easily Control Webcam on Older MacBook Models

The small green light on the MacBook is an indication that the iSight camera is enabled. But this isn’t always the case. Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University have discovered that hackers could gain control of the iSight camera remotely in MacBook. This could happen although the accompanying LED light isn’t turned on.

Apparently, the green light indicator isn’t sufficiently secure to protect users. The hack includes a way to disable the LED notification light of the MacBook’s camera. This allows malicious individuals to capture any visual content silently. The full report also includes steps to reproduce the hack.

Researchers could control the iSight camera by reprogramming the microcontroller of the camera. It is a dedicated chip which is essentially the camera’s own processor. Intruders could command the camera to disable the light regardless of the activity. To remote control the iSight camera that can use the RAT (Remote Administration Tool), which has been widely utilized by educational institutions and IT departments to handle multiple computers.

Fortunately, the hack only affects older Apple MacBook models, such as the iMac G5 as well as early iMacs with Intel processor. MacBooks produced after 2008 should be relatively immune to this vulnerability. However, experts said that the same method could be applied to newer MacBook model, but this could require a lot of resource and effort.

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