back to article Webcam hacker-ogler jailed for four years

A middle-aged Cypriot has been jailed for four years after he was convicted of hacking into internet webcams in order to spy on teenage girls. The unnamed 47-year-old computer technician used Trojan horse spyware to gain remote control of a webcam and take illicit pictures of least one young woman in her bedroom. The teenager' …


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  1. David Perry

    Silly girl or alternative uses for criminals

    Now there's always the option here that the webcam light came on when they were snooping, but I don't know if every webcam with a power light only turns that light on when the cameras in use (instead of say, always being on whenever the thing is plugged in even if the driver isn't using it). But if it was on and the camera had a light, and the light wasn't on, these people could be used (whilst inside) to write stuff for the security industry to go after real crooks like those committing multi million pound fraud or holding people hostage and using the webcams to broadcast/record ransom videos

  2. david

    Some one contact Richard Blackwood

    Didnt he make this revalation on brass eye back in 2003?

    As usual the Reg is behind the curve

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Bill seems to escape any jail terms

    Surely the OS writer for bindoze billy goates has some responisibilty in creating duff OS ?

    If windows was a car it would be made out of gold with diamond beads all over dashboard and guess what there would be no locks no keys left open for potential green eyed people to walk past and fancy a go on having some of it.

    so hence no one would be driving it..

    In real life this is called honeypot

    In real terms windows OS is a big honeypot designed with easy backdoors for authorities and hmm hackers

    Lets look at the case of the english hacker being extradited ... Surely Billy Goates should be pulled in to be questioned about what he has put on the desk of authoratarians?

  4. Andy Worth


    Just put the lens cover down if it has one.....or cover it up with something. It has the added bonus of stopping your PC from spying on you should it ever become self-aware.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    Average life expectancy of someone living in the USA or UK is roughly 78 years. Therefore you're middle aged when 39. Plus or minus say 5 years to that makes you middle aged between 34 and 44. It makes me laugh when people in their late 40's and early 50's call themselves middle aged - err you are NOT!

  6. John Macintyre

    @Bill seems to escape any jail terms

    Well no actually, let's be realistic. I'm not a fanboy but I know reasons. He used a trojan, so that means that something that didn't exist when the os was made has been written, and willingly installed by the user on the machine. Admittedly if the user didn't have an admin account and had to enter a password something would have twigged, but even Mac has had an issue with buffer overrun images.

    From what you say, basically every software writer is responsible for anything that happens on their system, be it something that is publicly known or something that someone discovers/creates/tries out months, even years later? Bear in mind a trojan simply opens a port on the local machine to the remote one, it's the local one that starts it so it's assumed the user is knowingly doing so. Even mac would have this issue if you started a service to open a port out of the os, and i'm sure linux would too. Several apps even ask if you want to send non-personal usage data out which is effectively the same thing, as are auto update checks.

    It comes down to the way you use windows, and although people shouldn't be using the admin account but they do, the issue would still exist because people will open files they shouldn't.

  7. Rob
    Paris Hilton


    I don't recall there being any mention of it being Windows at fault here. Realistically a lot of teenagers are bought apple laptops by their parents specificaly because of Apples advertising.

    There's no evidence either way in this report...

    Paris, because she's spent many an hour on someones laptop and she knows when and where to leave the camera on.

  8. Jason Croghan

    When idiots catch up with technology....

    Way back in the late 90's I created an application that could view private Yahoo! Messenger webcams without asking the users permission, the default setup requires each new viewer to be granted access via a popup question to the person on webcam. Using my application you could just view without that popup and they would be none the wiser. This worked for many, many moons because no one I gave it to was stupid enough to try and blackmail the webcammers.

    What a douche he deserves everything he gets.

  9. simbr

    Cover it

    I was also thinking you should cover it. or turn it towards the wall when not using it but the bit about laptops having built-in cams hit me - they are often fixed at the top of the screen. They really ought to come with physical on/off switches or sliding lenscovers.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Seems a strange thing to do.

    The Internet being what it is, I'm sure there are plenty of girls who'd do it for nothing...

    Hello Paris!

  11. Anthony

    Stupid criminals

    While I do not condone what he did with the spying, he should have just kept his mouth shut. The girl deserves applause for going to the police about it rather than giving in. I don't think there are many that age who would given the fear of those photos getting out.

    We do not have webcams in our house, so it would never be a problem for us:)

  12. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Silly guy....

    Instead of blackmail, he should have just gone to one of those 'chans, posted the first pics and asked "any more of her?" Instant gratification may have occurred.

    Mine's the long, dirty one with a pedobear logo.

  13. Jason DePriest

    no free p0rn?

    Has he not heard of "the Internet" which has boat loads of p0rn available through any search engine? Even faster if he uses image search?

    Apparently. Not.

    Mine's the one with the brick-sized mobile phone in the pocket...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC / "middle-aged"

    This is getting off-topic, but... here are a few definitions of middle age via Wikipedia:

    According to Collins Dictionary, this is "... usually considered to occur approximately between the ages of 40 and 60".

    The OED gives a similar definition but with a later start point "... the period between youth and old age, about 45 to 60".

    The US Census lists middle age as including both the age categories 35 to 44 and 45 to 54, while Erik Erikson sees it ending a little later and defines middle adulthood as between 40 and 65.

    I sensed you may see negative connotations to being beyond middle age. Is there some ageism going on there? Do you do racism and sexism also?

  15. Yuri

    me too!

    I got one of these webcam rigs too, I host mine though, want to see? -

  16. StopthePropaganda

    @ simbr

    my 4 or more year old Intel webcam does exactly that-it has a physical slider that goes over the lens. IIRC most webcams used to come with dust covers to protect the optics. Then when they became cheap and throwaway and ever-smaller, that was left out.

    Fortunately, they're all USB nowadays so you just yank it when you're not using it, and plug it in when you do.

    Obligatory Dr. Who quote: "She wouldn't let me put one in (webcam)...she says they're naughty!"

  17. Daniel

    Sick of cameras in everything

    Am I the only one sick of cameras being stuck in damn near every laptop and mobile phone? Between secure installations that won't let you through the door with a camera to the risks of having your laptop webcam hijacked, they seem to be more hassle than what they're worth. Yet for anything but the lowest grade equipment, finding a device without a camera has become a chore.


  18. Anonymous Coward

    re Silly guy....


  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    @ " said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at net security firm Sophos.

    Teh Reg's fav sayer.

  20. Anonymous Coward


    Ahh good ol' Subseven....Used that years ago for a good year or so, had loads of features too.

    Shame even a shoddy anti-virus would pick it up nowadays.

  21. Echowitch
    Paris Hilton

    Sub7 fun

    Like Anon, I've used Sub7 for fun. I actually set it up in a Net Cafe (all password protected mind you which is a feature to ensure that you and only you can gain access to the client side.) It was set up on all the Net Cafe's pc's to allow the management station to view what was anyone elses screen without having to get up. (They had a problem with kids coming in and downloading all manner of porn, viruses, etc.)

    Worked great. Although I did manage to freak the Manager out by having the Matrix screen, (which I hadn't told him about at this point,) pop up and say "The Matrix has you Woody". He completely freaked. Mind you I later discovered he was a habitual heroine addict and had a rather loose grip on reality lol

    No webcams mind you, we'll leave them to Paris as she loves to be on camera ;p

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Bill seems to escape any jail terms

    In this case it was hardly a "back door" in the OS since the vicitim opened an email attachment. It's easy to prevent attachments being opened, but the user obviously preferred the ability to do so.

    If somebody disengages the safety from a gun then proceeds to point it at their head and pull the trigger you can't turn around and say "well the safety should've been permanently welded in the ON position".

  23. Anonymous Coward

    @middle aged

    Wait till you get to 35 and see if you class yourself as middle aged. If you do then I'm afraid you're a sad loser. :-)

    ps anyone turning on my webcam would get an interesting view of the flat of my newt. Admittedly at night time they might see Uranus too - I guess thats the sort of thing they're after?


  24. Anonymous Coward

    Sub7 brings back fond memories

    Ah, those were the days!

    Used to have a bit of fun with Sub7 and BO, oh say 10 years ago or so. Would pick up portscans from my firewall log take a look at where they'd come from, more often than not I'd find a client of some sorts installed and scare the living hell out of them.

    The one with the AARP card please

  25. jack horner


    "...habitual heroine addict..."

    -He spent all his time watching WonderWoman re-runs?

    (Let's not even get into a discussion about tautology..).

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too Bad He Didn't Hack My Webcam...

    I've got kitty porn he could look all he wants

    3 cats being monitored by a webcam for my family overseas

  27. Santiago Matamoros

    Anyone can hack webcams...

    It's easy to hack webcams, all you need to do is go to one of those webcam search sites like and start searching for them. You will find them right in peoples' houses unsecured and filming everything that goes on there.

    Fox news even had a segment on how hackers can take control of your webcam, and/or how you can go online and find webcams. The segment is here: I think...

    If you install a webcam in your home, make sure you put on password protection - unless you want the whole world to be able to eventually find it thanks to the magic of Google.

    This freak actually installed a kind of virus in these girls' computers, so that's illegal! I think 4 years is a bit harsh though.

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