A few days ago, Microsoft announced the new Surface Book 3 and Surface Go 2 . Both devices come with updated specifications and include Windows Hello for a more secure login experience.
Windows Hello requires a compatible webcam, and since there have been cases of attackers taking control of users’ webcams, many manufacturers include a physical cover that slides over the camera to prevent it from capturing images.
As we can see in the image above, the camera on Surface screens does not have any type of cover. A green or white LED indicates when it is operating. But we have already seen numerous cases of hacked webcams that record without permission when the LED light is off.
To avoid this, many notebooks include a small cover that covers the camera when not in use. Some companies like Honor are much more ingenious: their camera is hidden inside the keyboard. Although they hack it, it will not record anything …
Stevie Bathiche, Microsoft’s vice president of the Hardware section, has stepped up to explain why Surface laptops don’t cover the camera. According to PCWorld, this is because the camera and the LED light are disconnected from the rest of the system: ” the light is controlled by the camera, which is disconnected from the system, which means that if the light is on it is sending data, period “.
According to Stevie Bathiche, “It is impossible for the camera to be on without the light being on .”
However, since the camera is controlled by the applications or the operating system, there is a link to the system. And as experience has shown, nothing is impossible when it comes to hacking.
Bathiche went on to explain the importance of the microphone icon in the taskbar to notify users when the microphone is in use. Some laptops like the Lenovo ThinkPad have solved the eavesdropping problem by adding a cover to cover the camera and a physical key to turn off the microphone.
Although Microsoft doesn’t offer those options, Bathiche believes that separating the camera’s LED and adding a microphone icon is enough to protect users’ privacy. If you are a little paranoid, you can always get a camera cover.
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