Disableing webcam on notebook

Discussion in 'Offtopic Discussions' started by second exodous, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. second exodous

    second exodous Advanced Member

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    Eh, so I finally disconnected my webcam in my notebook. Not for the 'tin foil hat' reasons but because my notebook kept defaulting to the microphone on it in OBS! Let me tell you, some people on twitch just say 'hey, your audio isn't that good' and others threaten to hunt you down and gut you because you're audio sucks!

    I've wanted to do it since the news was reporting how easy it was to get infected with software that allows other to view your webcam. I never use the thing, a $35 webcam I have just destroys it.

    I think, for some reason, whenever I started either recording or streaming my computer would just switch to that mic. I tried Ubuntu, Arch, and Debian based distros but they all did it. I finally had to get a dental tool and unsnap the bezel from my screen and pull the connector out of it. It came apart easily and snapped together easily, I was worried I'd have to disassemble my entire notebook, hence the reason I put it off for so long.

    Anyone else physically disabled their webcam on their notebook? I'd hate to have a mac and be paranoid, disabling that would be a nightmare!
     
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  2. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    Yup. Post it note cut in half. I use the sticky half to cover the webcam.
     
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  3. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    I've got a small sticker just about big enough to write a number on and stick to anything. As a result, the webcam just gives a grey image with no appreciable contrast at all (I wondered if I could find an old 5.25" copy protect tab, which are slightly larger and usually also reflective, but found this first and it seems to work well enough). The mic is still connected, but the fan on this machine is usually loud enough to drown almost anything said to this machine.
     
  4. spud42

    spud42 Very Active Member

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    not to tin foil hat this but even with a sticker over the camera the mic still works.
     
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  5. SONY

    SONY PlayStation

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    A little off-topic...

    Everytime I'm jerking off to porn, I just know or have a feeling that someone on the other side of my notebook/laptop webcam is watching me :(
     
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  6. Failbert

    Failbert Still Fresh

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    All of this seems a bit off-topic already as the question was about disconnecting a webcam for technical reasons and (possibly) asked "does it really have to be that tedious", not at all about covering the webcam because of privacy reasons.

    The assault on, shifting boundaries of, and the general invasion of our privacy by private, commercial and institutional peeping toms is disgusting and worthy of a million forum threads though
     
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  7. TrashyMG

    TrashyMG Sarcasm Dispenser Staff Member

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    meh.JPG
     
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  8. Failbert

    Failbert Still Fresh

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    Staying off topic from a topic already off topic considering that it's on a forum about the Pyra and Pandora handhelds...

    At least it's not in the newest newspost discussion, like we often have it!
     
  9. second exodous

    second exodous Advanced Member

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    No, I was just too lazy to disconnect it for privacy reasons, I had some electrical tape over it before. But yeah, like spud42 pointed out the mic still worked. The mic was actually what was giving me problems, my computer just loved to use it over both the Zoom H1 plugged in and my Logitech webcam's mic. Out of those 3 the sound system would default to it.

    It was insanely easy to disconnect though, my notebook is plastic and the bezel just snaps off by using something thin like a butter knife. I have a dental tool I got for sculpting, same thing though. There were a few youtube videos I watch how to do it and they were all the same. I tried looking for my specific System76 notebook but it is the same as Dell and lenovo notebooks, no screws and just snapped on. The webcam is just double-sided taped above the screen panel, I tried to pull it out but man that tape is tough! I didn't have a lot of room to work with so I just pulled the connector out of it. This way if I ever sell it I'll hook it back up.
     
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  10. Yorizuka

    Yorizuka Hi, how was your day?

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    I honestly enjoy the off topic discussions that happen in news posts!:D
     
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  11. matzesu

    matzesu Advanced Member

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    Dotnt use Devices whit cam for this purpose,
    The Porndora per Exemple didn’t have a cam, and there also shouldn’t be any virus on a Pornsite that’s can affect Linux ARM ..

    Or live straight, maybe someone from us can then get the first pope whit experience in Linux Arm ^^

    Or some sort of sticker for the camera lens, this should also work..
     
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  12. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    Ssh, don't tempt fate! Also, I kind of built one, or at least I built an exploit to prove it worked, I just didn't package it up to self replicate or anything, and I also didn't release it. And the hole got fixed, but other than that...

    Also, javascript is javascript and can be risky almost anywhere.
     
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  13. PCXT

    PCXT Very Active Member

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    I disconnected my camera when I replaced a top cover in my notebook, just skipped connecting it to mainboard.
    Next, when I was replacing LCD panel because it developed green vertical line, I disconnected it from the inside of cover as I forgot that I disconnected it from the mainboard :).
    However, I still have a strip of insulating tape over it, from time when it was not disconnected.
    And... I definitely should look for a new notebook. I also was thinking about it a year ago, when my current one hit 10 years of (mostly always-on) operation. Then I bought a similar one with broken mainboard and now I'm just replacing parts.
     
  14. _jr_

    _jr_ Advanced Member

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    blacklist uvcvideo in /etc/modprobe.d seems to work for me.
     
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  15. Binky

    Binky The Hogfather's Steed Staff Member

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    I suppose there is a lot to be said for software-level disabling techniques on machines where you've got meaningful admin access (i.e. not recent versions of windows). Uninstalling the drivers can make the hardware as useless to userland malware as a pair of wiresnippers.

    If the malware has got full admin control of your machine, then you're thoroughly stuffed anyway.
     
  16. second exodous

    second exodous Advanced Member

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    I tried that but the drivers were kernel level and I didn't want to re-compile my kernel every time I tried a new distro.

    I really think if you're computer is plastic and built like most PCs then it is actually less of a hassle to just unplug it. Here is a video shot by an idiot that dosen't know how to hold a phone while making a video but shows exactly what it was like for me:

     
  17. spud42

    spud42 Very Active Member

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    on the other hand there can be a use for those laptop webcams. because they are USB cams. most have 5 wires going to them. maybe 6 if there is a stereo mics.. power,ground, data+ data- and mic...
     
  18. second exodous

    second exodous Advanced Member

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    Yeah, I saw that video also, I couldn't get my cam out though, and if your notebook isn't broken I think it is best to just leave it inside the bezel in case you ever want to sell it.
     

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