Electronic Entertainment May Be The New Private Eye

1763 words - 8 pages

As this century's influx of new technology continues, the potential harm towards a computer user's personal information and unauthorized access grows along with it. These days, certain criminals can now commit crimes from the comfort of their own home, specifically through the use of their computer. Two types of crimes that are occurring at exponential rates are computer crimes and cybercrimes. Computer crimes are “illegal acts involving a computer” and cybercrime refers to “online or Internet-based illegal acts” (Shelly and Vemaat 382) both are done by individuals who have advanced computer skills and are known as hackers. These hackers have a variety of goals that range from personal gain of assets (or commissioned gain from a third-party), spying on others, or simply for the challenge. Computer users are concerned about their bank account information, Social Security number, social media accounts, and personal information but a newer security breach that many of us should be concerned about is the possibility of our webcams being hacked into, also known as camfecting or camjacking. Camfecting is “the fraudulent process of hacking into a person's webcam and activating it without the webcam owner's permission, the remotely activated webcam can then be used to watch anything within the webcam's field of vision” (Anticamfecting Co). Numerous instances of camfecting happen to individuals whether they are directly targeted and sought after or are part of a bulk camjacking. Victims of camfecting include Miss Teen USA 2013, “1.8 million yahoo users” around the globe(Osborne and Whittaker), and maybe even myself.
Cassidy Wolf was a teen the first time a hacker camfected her computer through an e-mail message containing a link she may have happened to click. After more than a year later of being watched, Cassidy received threatening emails stating if she didn't comply with his wants he would upload her undressed photos on all her social media accounts (Wolf). The camjacker was able to retrieve the user information and authentication through a keylogger alongside with the camera hack and attached some nude photos of herself from the footage at the end of the email. “He was able to trace the keystrokes on my keyboard so he could learn my passwords and see what sites I was going to, and, creepiest of all, he was able to access my webcam 24/7” (Wolf). The camjacker requested that more explicit photos be taken and sent to him directly or she needed to chat with him for sometime and do whatever he wanted if she didn't want him to leak hundreds of nude photos. Cassidy Wolf wasn't his only victim, he had 12 other young females at his fingertips (Wolf).
Another instance of camjacking was not necessarily a personal attack such as Wolf's case but a large invasion done by the United States' National Security Agency or the NSA along with Britain's surveillance agency GCHQ (Osborne and Whittaker). The NSA whose core values include remaining “unwavering in its...

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