What's the risk?
Cybercriminals hack webcams to stalk people or exploit the device for use in a botnet.
A botnet is a collection of devices that might include your computer, mobile phone and other devices connected to the internet, which are infected and remotely controlled to carry out malicious activities. Typically, the owner of the device has no way of knowing a botnet has infected their system.
There have been many media reports of hacked baby monitors, blackmail threats with stolen footage, and stalkers arrested after police found they were watching victims through hacked webcams.
- In 2016, hackers hijacked baby monitors (among other connected devices) to form a botnet that targeted high profile websites such as Twitter, PayPal and Spotify.
- Cybercriminals have also scammed people via video calls where the victim was pressured into explicit activity, only to have the footage secretly recorded and used later for blackmail.