I also suspect it’s safe because it’s in the “libexec” folder, which contains system daemons and utilities.Of course, a clever attacker might disguise their process in that way, so always investigating anything you don’t recognize or understand.Covering your camera may make you look paranoid, but webcam snooping is very real, especially for powerful figures like Zuckerberg.Back in 2013, Tyler Lopez made just such a case in Future Tense, writing, “almost anyone—from foreign governments to the creepy teenager down the street—could be recording you while you sit at your computer.” The following year, documents leaked by Edward Snowden indicated that the NSA uses plug-ins to hijack cameras, information that surely informs Comey’s own decisions.
Spurred by Comey’s latest statement, I realized it was time to change my ways. Like Oremus, I hope that computer manufacturers will start adding physical covers to machines, though we shouldn’t expect them to do so any time soon.
There are simpler ways that use off-the-shelf software, which we’ll cover below.
If you’re comfortable with Terminal, however, you can use the Terminal command Annoyingly, this list will likely include some extraneous applications.
This week, FBI Director James Comey reaffirmed a position he’s expressed in the past, claiming that he covers his computer’s camera with tape.
“I think people ought to take responsibility for their own safety and security,” Comey proposed at a Center for Strategic and International Studies conference, according to the Comey’s not alone in that commitment: Mark Zuckerberg supposedly obscures his laptop’s camera as well, and as Will Oremus points out, he’s right to do so.
If you look at the beginning of each line, you’ll see some familiar program names: in this case, Google and Face Time.