When you’re the founder of the world’s most popular social network and, overall, one of the most influential persons in the world, you should be aware of the fact that every detail you reveal is closely analyzed. We’re talking about Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, of course, who posted an image on his personal account yesterday and the Internet went crazy.
The photo was supposed to be a celebration of Instagram’s growing user base – also owned by Facebook – but Internet users’ couldn’t ignore a tiny detail from the background. We’re talking about Zuckerberg’s laptop, with its webcam and microphone covered with tape.
Of course, this started raising a lot of questions. Is this paranoia or just an example of good practice? Well, the opinions are split…
Ever since Edward Snowden revealed that a couple of government-designed programs were actually planning to control PC cameras and computers, there were a lot of people covering them with tape. Also, there have been rumors about hackers accessing them through “ratting”, a process which involves Trojan-like viruses.
What’s interesting is that online security experts also support taping cameras and microphones.
“Covering the camera is a very common security measure,” said ESET security researcher Lysa Myers. “If you were to walk around a security conference, you would have an easier time counting devices that don’t have something over the camera.”
However, when you’re Mark Zuckerberg, one of the most-valuable targets in the world, these measures make sense, in some way or another.
“I think Zuckerberg is sensible to take these precautions. As well as intelligence agencies and conventional online criminals who might be interested in targeting his billions, there are no doubt plenty of mischievous hackers who would find it amusing to spy upon such a high-profile figure,” said online expert and consultant Graham Cluley.
Finally, let’s not forget that Zuck has been the victim of hackers in the past, after his Twitter and LinkedIn accounts were attacked. It was believed that he used the same passwords across more websites and forgot about two-factor authentication. Take notice.