The woman was shocked when she received two nude photos of herself by e-mail.The photos had been taken over a period of several months — without her knowledge — by the built-in camera on her laptop.
For example, it can make it easier for a school’s IT staff to administer a classroom full of computers.
Indeed, the devices the researchers studied were similar to Mac Books involved in a notorious case in Pennsylvania in 2008.
“There’s a chip in the battery, a chip in the keyboard, a chip in the camera.” Mac Books are designed to prevent software running on the Mac Book’s central processing unit (CPU) from activating its i Sight camera without turning on the light.
But researchers figured out how to reprogram the chip inside the camera, known as a micro-controller, to defeat this security feature.
“People are starting to think about what happens when you can reprogram each of those,” Miller says.