Did you know about camfecting??

It’s Cyber Security Month!

For many people, October is identical with Halloween. But did you know, October is also a month dedicated for raising Cyber Security Awareness. If you are not being careful in the cyber world, things might get as spooky as your Halloween   

So what is cyber security?  

According to Cisco[1], cyber security is the practice of protecting systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks. These cyberattacks are usually aimed at: (1) accessing, changing, or destroying sensitive information, (2) extorting money from users, or (3) interrupting normal business processes.

Cyberattacks come in various ways. One of the techniques used by hackers is called “camfecting”. Camfecting is the attempt of infecting one’s device with a virus that can provide the hacker access to the victim’s camera, thus to spy on them. One simple trick to avoid getting spied on is by covering your webcam. Even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg covers his webcam (with a tape). So cover them today!

Tips: If you don’t fancy using a regular tape (because you think your laptop will look weird :p), there are cool webcam covers which you can find online or in gadget stores.



Have you ever wondered why you are often asked to create a password that is troublesome to create? (e.x: must contain at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, a number, a special character, and 8-33 characters long). These requirements actually help you in building a strong password. A strong password can give you stronger data security.

It would be beneficial to use free password managers to aid use of strong, unique passwords without having to remember them. Using password managers is safer than writing down your passwords in some text file which is prone to be read by someone else or hackers.

Another simple trick to avoid getting a cyberattack is to always be alert in opening attachments and links. Make sure that the senders of those files are the people you trust. A hacker can also use an email address that is similar to a company’s email address. They might change a single letter in the email address, thus people tend to miss the difference.

Got an email in which the sender reveals your password and claims to have infected your PC? They might also say that they have recorded illicit activity through the webcam and threaten to publish the material if a ransom is not paid. Beware, this could be an email scam. The leaked passwords belonging to the user are usually old passwords that can be simply pulled from readily available password lists. Senders are often perceived as skilled hackers, but the claim of having illicit material is a bluff. You can read more about this type of scam here: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/alert/alert-cyber-criminals-send-victims-their-own-passwords-in-new-sextortion-scam

It is recommended to equip your devices with firewalls, DNS filtering, malware protection, antivirus software, and email security solutions, while also to be aware of scammers bluffing for a ransom with bogus claim. If you have questions regarding cyber security, feel free to contact IT Service Desk at servicedesk@abdn.ac.uk.


Published by Students, University of Aberdeen


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