I couldn't quite find the proper forum for this, but it is hardware related but its not troubleshooting related IMO and not necessarily related to laptops as desktop PCs can have webcams too).
My question is about "spying" now I've heard rumors, seen it on TV and I know its possible to some extent and I'll explain:
1. you can install a software that will trigger the webcam when there is motion or even sound so making it possible to spy on someone without them knowing unless they see the webcam light come on (many webcams do have some kind of light/indicator)
2. you install a security software such as prey or lojack which will record/take pictures of what your webcam sees without triggering the webcam light (to some extent, it still does trigger the light anyway).
A friend of mine whom also I'm working on her laptop believes its possible for anyone to snoop/spy on her via her webcam and like I said I know its possible but SOMEBODY has to make it possible for it to happen; its not going to do it by itself I don't think? Or what about the FBI or CIA or DHS? I've heard theoretical rumors that there is a backdoor to windows that allows these law enforcement agencies to do just that.
I'm not entirely convinced; yes I'm convinced its possible but I'm not convinced it can happen spontaneously but I'm beginning to wonder in light of scams and viruses I've seen lately. Surely a virus/malware can hijack a browser, allow someone to intentionally gain access to your PC without you knowing and making it impossible for you to get back in or worse lose your data (like the telephone scam claiming your computer is at risk and you spend $200 to buy AVG and when you refuse to buy more products you're locked out).
So my question boils down to this: IS it possible to plant a malware or some sort of remote code to trigger the webcam so you can spy on somebody without getting their permission or tricking them into thinking its for something else?
I'm not crazy about conspiracy theories; but I do want to stay vigilant of security but that doesn't mean I have to be paranoid I just want to know what to look for.
Moderators please move this as appropriate; this seemed to be the best forum at the time; thanks!