Sign up to our newsletter
A hacker has sent a woman intimate pictures of an evening she spent with her partner to her Facebook account, which were captured through the webcam of a laptop.
Logging into the social network the next evening, Chelsea Clark, from Toronto in Canada, was shocked to find images of herself and her boyfriend in bed, where they had been enjoying a quiet night of online TV.
Unbeknownst to them, while they were watching numerous episodes of Adventure Time on Netflix, a hacker was capturing pictures of the couple, Vice reported.
What’s interesting about this case is the fact that the perpetrator was able to identity Ms Clark via the images, hack into her Facebook account and add himself as a friend to gain sharing privileges.
The message attached to the images, which the 27-year-old bartender referred to as “freakishly intimate”, said: “Really cute couple”. They were sent to her from a now-deleted Facebook account belonging to a Mahmoud Abdo.
It is highly likely that the account was fake – the profile image was of Heath Ledger’s Joker from The Dark Knight movie, the location of the user was listed as Cairo in Egypt and the individual followed numerous football teams from around the world.
What’s more unnerving about this specific incident is that the laptop belongs to Ms Clark’s boyfriend and she rarely uses it.
“I have my privacy setting set [on Facebook] so that no one can message me except friends,” she told the online magazine.
“So when I got an unknown [message] I thought it seemed weird. I went into history to see when [the user] was added and it was just before the messages were sent.”
The matter has since been reported to the authorities in Toronto. Constable Garth Naidoo, who is in charge of dealing with this case, said it is far too early to comment on the complex matter.
Individuals with internet-connected devices that come with cameras – which includes smartphones, tablets and laptops – are advised to boost their security efforts.
From making passwords stronger to investing in additional Wi-Fi protection and regularly scanning your devices for malware, users can ensure that their private lives remains just that.
Author Karl Thomas, ESET