Inside the Murky World of Webcam Hackers

There's a horrible and growing trend in the darkest corners of the internet: using Remote Administration Tools, hackers are increasingly taking control of webcams around the world.

Ars Technica has taken a long, hard look into the murky world of webcam hackers. From Ars:

The woman is visible from thousands of miles away on a hacker's computer. The hacker has infected her machine with a remote administration tool (RAT) that gives him access to the woman's screen, to her webcam, to her files, to her microphone. He watches her and the baby through a small control window open on his Windows PC, then he decides to have a little fun. He enters a series of shock and pornographic websites and watches them appear on the woman's computer...

For many ratters, though, the spying remains little more than a game. It might be an odd hobby, but it's apparently no big deal to invade someone's machine, rifle through the personal files, and watch them silently from behind their own screens. "Most of my slaves are boring," wrote one aspiring ratter. "Wish I could get some more girls with webcams. It makes it more exciting when you can literally spy on someone. Even if they aren't getting undressed!"

While that may sound pretty shocking, it gets worse: Ars reports that hackers are archiving much of the content they stumble across—one has already archived 200GB of webcam material—and there are forums dedicated to the practice. The feature makes for fascinating reading; go check it out now. [Ars Technica]