Going manual

I recently posted a blog entry about a friend of mine who was caught in a compromising position when a clickjack attack turned on her web cam. As I had hoped, this nightmare of a story caught readers’ attentions. The one question on everyone’s mind: how can I stop such a thing from happening to me?

First, you should recognize that Adobe has made some security upgrades that make it much more difficult for clickjack attacks to take control of your computer’s web cam. Harder, yes. But not impossible.

If you want to make it impossible for clickjackers to catch you doing something private, then you have two options:

1- act like you’re sitting in front of an audience every time you use your computer, and

2- go manual

Frankly, the first suggestion is going to help many people. It’s simply too difficult to pretend that you’re sitting in front of a worldwide audience when you’re actually in your own home, the place where you feel most comfortable to let let it all hang out. Plus, consider all of the things that some people might consider personal. My friend’s case was exceptional, an example of the worst case scenario. For many, though, it wouldn’t take much to cause extreme embarrassment. Caught with your finger in your nose? Staring slack jawed at some stupid YouTube video? Falling asleep at the screen and drooling all over yourself? All of these things could be considered embarrassing to some people. What are the chances that none of them are ever going to happen.

That’s why I suggest the second option: go manual. Perhaps that’s a poor choice of phrasing considering what my friend got caught doing, but the point still stands:  you can override any software by altering the real world.



Opaque tape.

If you have a web cam that’s built into your laptop or computer, then simply put a piece of tape over the lens. If a clickjacker can figure out a way to get around that, then I say he deserves whatever footage he gets. He’s obviously either a genius or a magician.

If you have an external web cam for your  computer, then unplug it when it’s not in use.

Until we develop a foolproof way to prevent clickjacking attacks from taking control of web cams, it is prudent to take matters into your own hands by going manual.

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