Amid groans of “I wonder why it took so long?” a new worm has been discovered that can access a webcam and microphone attached to an infected PC.
Rbot-GR installs itself in the usual spyware fashion, and also includes the traditional payload of key logger and hard drive spy, plus it can launch denial of service attacks against websites. This one is a veritable Swiss Army knife of an infection. It’s yet another variant of the W32/Rbot worm, though this is the first to be able to access a camera to take grabs and capture video.
A Trojan of this sophistication could have any number of uses – from industrial espionage to voyeurism.
Sophos, the anti-virus company, say it’s not spreading very successfully yet, but users should be aware of the possibility of infection.
“More and more hackers are interested in spying on the people they manage to infect with their worms and Trojan horses. In the workplace, this worm opens up the possibilities of industrial espionage. At home it is equivalent to a Peeping Tom who invades your privacy by peering through your curtains,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. “If your computer is infected and you have a webcam plugged in, then everything you do in front of the computer can be seen, and everything you say can be recorded.”
If your webcam has an activity light, keep an eye on it – and get a spyware removal tool.