Webcam malware is probably the scariest type of malware available today.
Webcam malware lodges itself in your computer and quietly activates your webcam when you least expect it. It’s particularly devastating on laptops, where the built-in webcam typically points directly at you whenever you’re using the computer.
97 people were recently arrested for spreading precisely that type of malware.
The malware is called Blackshades and it reportedly infected approximately half a million computers around the world. Anyone could buy Blackshades from the black market for $40 and then infect users’ computers and spy on them.
Scarily enough, Blackshades has existed since September 2010. Between September 2010 and April 2014, the software was purchased by thousands of people in over 100 countries around the world, eventually generating approximately $350,000 in sales.
One of the 97 people arrested in the sting was an 18-year old man who singlehandedly infected the computers of 2,000 women and girls.
97 people were arrested but other 395 houses in total were searched. The sting operation involved law enforcement officials from the European Union Judicial Cooperation Unit as well as organizations from Canada, the United States, Switzerland, Chile, and – of all places – Moldova.
Most malware circles around the web undiscovered until it’s too late. The persecutors are rarely punished and the talented programmers who create the malware are never caught.
With Blackshades, the original creator of the malware has not yet been caught, although the people who purchased the software certainly have.
Think of everything you do on the computer. Now think of how you would feel if somebody was staring at you through your webcam all day, every day. Scary, right? Install antivirus software, perform a scan with PC Cleaner Pro, and just do something to protect yourself. It’s a scary world out there.
Unfortunately, Blackshades isn’t the only webcam virus that exists today.