Join the discussion: Can someone "hack" my camera?

Cella using an iPhone with a lens accessory
Cella using an iPhone with a lens accessory (Image credit: iMore)

Recently, there have been plenty of rumors and speculation surrounding MacBook, iPhone, and other computer cameras: more specifically, if they can be remotely hacked and viewed from a different location.

While some people (like Mister Mark Zuckerberg) have taken to adding a tiny little piece of tape over their computer cameras, others are left asking one question: can someone actually hack my camera?!

A lot of people noticed a photo of Mark Zuckerberg covering his laptop camera with tape several months back, and it got me thinking... How credible is it that an external threat to take control of my FaceTime camera on a MacBook? Or come to think of it, any other apple device??


While some people say they don't actually mind if their tech is being hacked:

I don’t mind it. They will see at most the ceiling, the inside of my pockets or my face. None of them are credible threats to me. Oh, remotely enabling the microphone will only make them hear background noise, the tv or music that I’m playing. I am not worried.


Others say that camera hacking is totally possible for reals...

I'm completely sure that a hacker can easily hack into your camera. I know it's silly, but remember the second episode of Mr. Robot


What do you think? Can a camera be hacked remotely? Does it bother you at all? Join the discussion in the iMore forums and let us know your opinion and how you protect yourself against sneaky hackers that are looking to get into your iPhone's Camera app!

Join the discussion on the iMore forum!

Cella Lao Rousseau

Cella writes for iMore on social and photography. She's a true crime enthusiast, bestselling horror author, lipstick collector, buzzkill, and Sicilian. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @hellorousseau

  • PSA: I compute in the nude. Hack my camera at significant risk to your eyes and ability to sleep at night. You've been warned.
  • It's much easier to hack the MacBook camera than the iPhone camera, given that it only takes you running the wrong piece of software on your Mac and the camera being switched on. That being said, if you're using the internal MacBook camera the light will come on at any time it's being activated, that's at a hardware level so even if it's hijacked you'll see the light. As for the iPhone camera, good luck trying to hack that. iOS is very closed off, so the only way it's really going to be hacked is by a very obscure exploit, or you being jailbroken and again running some bad software
  • BTW, there are lots of these sorts of things, if you want something a little more convenient than tape.
    Guess Zuckerberg can't afford them.
  • "Recently"... That Zuckerberg photo was at least a year and a half ago. How is this "recently"? I guess in the world of Click-Bait titles it is. Worse is that you don't give any real answers, you just try to get people to the forums. The short answer is yes, it can. Easier on a Mac, but any device could be. I'm less concerned about an iOS/Android device, as those are more locked down so things need to ask for camera permission, or break the sandbox. Not the case with Windows/Mac (even Linux) computers. But the annoying thing about your click bait title is that the camera isn't what's hacked. It's the OS that then allows camera access. You could say it's a hack if they turn the green dot off, but I'd argue they're hacking the LED not the camera itself. Beyond that, I'd be more concerned about the backdoors in these closed source OSes (these backdoors could be found in open source). Those could allow access to the camera of someone who is prudent about not installing anything, and not getting malware.