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I use Symantec Norton for Mac and MacKeeper as anti-virus and firewall protection. However, earlier this week, I noticed out of the blue that the little green light was on next to my Facetime camera. I didn't have anything running that would use the camera like Photobooth, Facetime, or Skype. Nothing I tried would turn off the light.

I ran system scans, looked in my Norton history and Mac firewall and I have zero malware of any kind. After a restart, the light was off and hasn't come back on.

It got me thinking, if someone could hack into my computer remotely, they could probably see through my webcam. Scary thoughts of privacy invasion.

Does anyone know if the Facetime camera can be hacked? Also, if someone does hack in, will the green light definitely come on?

For now, I've changed all my passwords system and network wide and I have a small piece of black electrical tape over the lens. I'd really like a definite answer about the light. I'd pull the tape off and stop worrying if I knew I could rely on the green light, but I can't find anything on the net related to my problem. At least not about a MacBook Pro.

Thanks for any insight. I really want to take this tape off.

asked Oct 22 '11 at 00:43

MacManDerek's gravatar image


Yes of course you can. It's not even hard, especially on macs since everyone tend to believe macs are impossible to hack. They are very resilient to viruses but when it comes to hacking it's usually easier to get into a mac than any other system. Especially if you're running that piece of shit software Norton. However I don't see any reason to hi-jack your webcam? ^o) You're not a girl so it's probably somebody you pissed off or something who wants to get their revenge somehow. I would start checking the logfiles at least, and get rid of anything Symantec related.

answered Oct 22 '11 at 22:02

Yarvaxea's gravatar image


I use Norton in tandem with MacKeeper and the Mac firewall. I've never had a virus get through. It's not the greatest but it averages 3.7 out of 5 stars, and seems to get the job done well. What I'm really interested in knowing is if I can count on the green light comng on if there is someone watching through it?

(Oct 23 '11 at 00:28) MacManDerek MacManDerek's gravatar image

well apparently not since you got hacked.. If it's lighting it means the webcam is active, whether this is remote controlled or something on your computer I don't know. I'd take it to an Apple store and ask them. As I said the probability that someone hacks into your computer just to see what you're doing is extremely low.

(Oct 23 '11 at 00:51) Yarvaxea Yarvaxea's gravatar image

Yes, actually.

Which is why my webcams always have a cover on them in case of possible scenarios.

answered Oct 22 '11 at 00:50

Billy%20Aoki's gravatar image

Billy Aoki


Are you sure? I see you hating on Mac all the time, are you just hating or can you site an article or someone with real credibility on Mac hardware?

(Oct 22 '11 at 01:33) MacManDerek MacManDerek's gravatar image

I don't hate Mac, I just find it on a lesser side of my own preferences.

Hacking webcams over the net has been existent for many years already. You don't even have to download an infected file to do it, as one can do it over the internet if he has enough skill. Besides, even Macs aren't 100% invulnerable to viruses.

While being completely immune to malware made for other operating systems, namely Windows, OSX is still pretty much an open door towards malware made for it. If I recall correctly, there was a virus infecting a number of Macs which were running OSX at the time not too long ago.

Don't be disheartened yet, it might not be a malware though. If you have Skype installed, it might accidentally keep the webcam running to see if it works. That's exactly what happened to mine.

(Oct 22 '11 at 02:13) Billy Aoki Billy%20Aoki's gravatar image

I'm not too familiar with OSX I do know under wundiws in general just had to go into the device drivers themselve and disable the webcam on the laptop or the desktop. Have you tried and see if there is a section within OSX that you can just disable the drivers for your webcam??

answered Oct 22 '11 at 19:05

Compucore's gravatar image


The same thing has been happening to me for about 2 years. Did you by any chance purchase your macbook from best buy?

answered May 04 '12 at 12:47

iskreamsocial's gravatar image


Unless you remove the battery, remove all connections to the computer, put it in a steal box, lock it, and put it in a vault that is 10 stories underground, and no body knows it is there, it is hack-able, that goes for anything... even then, if someone is clever enough, the chance exists that it can be hacked

bottom line is, you can never say something is not hackable... use best security practices and keep up on updates etc and more then likely you will be fine... if all else fails, a piece of tape over the lense seems to work

answered Oct 24 '12 at 14:09

trueb's gravatar image


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Asked: Oct 22 '11 at 00:43

Seen: 25,353 times

Last updated: Oct 24 '12 at 14:09