The Russian Quality System recommends covering up the camera and microphone of the laptop - Paranoia or not?


“The Internet is an insecure space, so you should not neglect the rules of digital hygiene”, assure experts of the Center of Digital Expertise of the Russian Quality System (Roskachestvo).

Experts remind that antivirus and updated software must be installed on the computer. They also recommend covering up the camera and microphone while they are not in use. This can be done with tape, duct tape or a special curtain.

"Spyware malware is able to activate a microphone or camera on the device," said Anton Fishman, the Head of the Group-IB system solutions Department. According to him, this is how Pegasus spyware works, which attacked Android and iOS through a vulnerability in older versions of WhatsApp messenger.

According to experts, even if you do not give different applications permission to access the microphone and camera, smartphones still monitor the owners, collect data about them. The reason is clear, first of all, in order to advertise the goods and services a person needs. Experts note that this happens even when access to the camera or microphone is disabled.

“We have to state that, in fact, sticking together a camera and a microphone is no longer paranoia, but one of the rules of digital hygiene,” said Ilya Loyevsky, deputy head of the Russian Quality System.

Moreover, Yevgeny Novikov, the Press Secretary of the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Communications supported the recommendations of the Russian Quality System. He noted that Internet scammers often use methods of social engineering rather than technical vulnerabilities. In this regard, users of laptops and smartphones should take care of the protection of personal data, and not rely on antivirus.

“Internet users really should observe cyber hygiene and also take care of the safety of their personal data. You cannot completely rely on antiviruses,” said Novikov.

He noticed that he also is covering up the camera on the laptop.

Hacker Alexander Warskoy commented on the initiative of the Russian Quality System, calling these measures rather ridiculous. He added that if spies want to access devices, they will still get it.

Internet Ombudsman Dmitry Marinichev called paranoia the recommendation of the Russian Quality System. "Sticking a camera on a laptop is paranoia that can lead to Russians starting to cover up the TV with a towel."

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