How sticky tape can secure your MacBook

Summary:AusCERT 2010 keynote speaker and public-key cryptography expert Whitfield Diffie doesn't trust Apple to keep attackers from taking control of his webcam.

AusCERT 2010 keynote speaker and public-key cryptography expert Whitfield Diffie doesn't trust Apple to keep attackers from taking control of his webcam.

At the conference, Diffie had a piece of tape over his Apple MacBook's built-in webcam. When asked why, he answered it was the most effective protection against prying eyes.

"I trust the tape more than I trust any program. I figure if there's a piece of tape over it, it isn't taking pictures of things," he told ZDNet Australia.



Diffie isn't the first security guru to consider this problem. At AusCERT 2008, Ivan Krstic (who previously worked as the director of security architecture for the One Laptop per Child program) tried to tackle the issue using LED indicators to alert users to a live webcam or microphone.

Krstic now works on core security for Apple.

Would you like to see hardware-based protection against someone spying on you via your built-in microphone or webcam?

Topics: Apple, Hardware, Security

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Munir first became involved with online publishing in 1998 when he joined ZDNet UK and later moved into print publishing as Chief Reporter for IT Week, part of ZDNet UK, a weekly trade newspaper targeted at Enterprise IT managers. He later moved back into online publishing as Senior News Reporter for ZDNet UK.Munir was recognised as Austr... Full Bio

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