The Black Hat conference (I wasn't there) had a session on "ratters" (RAT for Remote Access Trojan) who take illicit footage of users (usually female) by hijacking their systems.

The question I have is if this happens on a system or web-cam device that has an "in use" LED on it, is it possible for them to do this without turning on that LED? On my MacBook for example I would definitely notice the LED. Many USB cameras have the same thing.


Yes, it is possible to deactivate the webcam active light. Here, here, and here all show examples of security researchers doing it.

  • Would seem to be very hardware based. My Macbook should be Ok but not the Windows boxes I have. – AlanObject Aug 8 '15 at 1:01

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.