Beware. Hackers can spy on you by breaching into your MacBook iSight webcam without your permission.

Stephen Checkoway, a computer science professor at Johns Hopkins University and Matthew Brocker, a graduate student in the university have researched the attacks on the firmware inside the iSight camera's controller chip. Their research and finding have been published in a paper: "iSeeYou: Disabling the MacBook Webcam Indicator LED."

According to the research paper, the iSight camera is designed with a "hardware interlock" between the camera sensor and the LED indicator intended to make it electrically impossible for any one of them to be activated without the other. The LED is connected directly to the standby pin on the camera sensor, which turns itself on when the camera is not in the standby mode.

However, the researchers claim that they were able to bypass the hardware interlock, which makes it possible for the camera to be turned on without switching on the LED indicator. Hackers can do this without physically accessing the laptop. The researchers pointed out that the breach of camera security only affects MacBooks and iMacs made before 2008 with built-in iSight cameras.

This problem came to light when earlier this year, Miss Teen USA, Cassidy Wolf, said she received a few nude pictures of herself via an e-mail from an extortionist. Wolf was shocked to find that these pictures were taken from the in-built webcam on her own laptop, without her knowledge. The teen beauty also said that she was did not know that she was being spied on using her own laptop camera as the LED indicator on the camera was off.

The FBI was later able to catch hold of Jared Abrahams, the culprit responsible for Miss Wolf's naked pictures. The agency confirmed that it found software on Abrahams's computer that gave him access to remotely spy on Wolf and some other women as well.

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