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Webcam Voyeur Hacks Laptop to Spy on Toronto Couple

The privacy dangers associated with laptop webcams were highlighted again recently when a Canadian couple were remotely spied on in bed by a complete stranger.

Toronto police are now investigating after 27-year-old Chelsea Clark complained that she had been contacted via Facebook by a man who sent her images taken from her webcam.

Mahmoud Abdo is even said to have hacked her Facebook account to add himself as a friend so he could share the pics with her.

The images, of Clark and her boyfriend watching online TV in bed, apparently came accompanied by the creepy message “Really, cute couple.”

Abdo, who appeared to be based in Cairo, has apparently now shut down the account.

“What a terrifying notion. It was a really bizarre thing to receive those messages and it really took a second to be like, ‘Oh my God, that’s what this means, that’s the implication of receiving this message is someone was just watching us’,” Clark told Newstalk1010, according to Global News.

“We obviously had no idea it was taking place in the moment, but retroactively it was like a really, really deeply creepy feeling. It was very unnerving. I mean it does feel like there’s someone just in your home with you.”

It’s still not clear how the laptop was hacked, although malware designed to remotely access devices is readily available on Darknet sites for a minimal amount of money.

The case again proves the importance of keeping up-to-date with the latest anti-malware and security updates for OS and key applications.

Police are also advising users to close their laptops after use and possibly tape over any webcam if it’s not in use.

"Don’t just kind of fall asleep with your laptop open and put it over to the side,” said Toronto police constable, Scott Mills.

Charles Sweeney, CEO of web security firm Bloxx, argued that webcam hacks are becoming increasingly common.

"Webcams are an easy target for cyber criminals – they tend not to be secured and people often leave them on without realizing,” he told Infosecurity. “Best practice would be to always close your laptop after use and keep ensure all your security programs are up-to-date."

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