Apple's MacBook – considered to be one of the safest laptops out there – is not entirely hack proof, a former NSA employee has revealed. Patrick Wardle, a former NSA staffer has demonstrated how any webcam or microphone of a Mac device can be taken over.
Wardle, who is currently working on the R&D for security intelligence firm Synack, created an OS X malware sample to show how hackers can monitor your Mac and anytime a video session is on, the malware records the audio and video automatically.
The researcher says any smartly-designed spy software could turn on and capture these conversations and users will not get the slightest hint about it.
Although Mac computers come with a green LED light to alert you when your webcam is on, in the past, researchers have found ways to disable the LED light when turning on the webcam.
Wardle pointed out the vulnerability on Thursday (6 October) during the Virus Bulletin conference in Denver.
To prevent this type of a hack, Wardle says he created a tool called OverSight which monitors your webcam and microphone activities and then notifies you if a malicious secondary app is trying to access the feed. One can then choose to either allow or block access.
Sometime back Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had posted a picture revealing that he covers his webcam with a tape prompting many to debate whether webcams are actually a safe way to communicate out there.
Wardle says, since one can't always keep their webcams covered and will need to use it sooner or later, taking such precautions is the only way to remain safe.