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Home English English Frauds with fake webcams raging even in the Czech Republic
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mini_webcamtrolling

Very dangerous phenomenon, which we have seen in the last few months on Czech and international social networks and within common communication tools based on instant messengers (ICQ, Skype) are fake videos that are projected to chosen victims (children or adults) instead of real stream from a webcam. The risk of misuse of this technology is really high due to the low awareness. You can judge the way the records are believable.

 

Webcam trolling

It does not take much to commit deception – just to invest about 10 $ and buy a program that lets you create a virtual webcam, whose contents can be changed as you like. A virtual webcam as a software tool behaves much like a real webcam, so it can be connected with both the common instant messengers, and video chat tools based plug-in for web browsers. So, every web video chat can be easily attacked - from Facebook video chat, ending with Skype, ICQ or any other programs supporting video chat.

Sample loop (male version)

Sample loop (female version)

The phenomenon of fake streaming probably originated in the public environment of video chats based on Chatroulette and is sometimes referred to as a webcam trolling. The primary purpose of it is to have fun at the expense of chosen chatting person, which then performs orders or commands that you assign him under a false identity as an attractive blonde or brunette with big breasts. At the moment, hundreds of recordings have been circulating on the Internet - mostly a few minutes long loops that you can simply use for video chat simulation. And their credibility is really high.

Risk variants of webcam trolling

Webcam trolling can be used also for children manipulation and getting their intimate recordings (recordings, photographs) that can be used for further blackmail communication leading to a personal meeting with the child (cybergrooming/social engineering) etc.

"The first servers that showed victims of this type of fraud began to emerge about three years ago. At present, about a few tens of them can be found on the Internet, the most successful of them have several tens of thousands of visitors daily. The most widespread are sites with videos of children, mainly boys aged from 13 to 18. Victim behaviour indicates that they are invited by a "girl" or "girls" to an erotic chat, followed by a call for showing intimate parts or masturbation. There are videos, where the demands of the attackers specialize in specific sexual practices. Especially the video, which show more victims at a time, have large number of visitors. Victims are manipulated in such a way that in the few minutes of footage they can fulfil orders of attackers and even heterosexual individuals are willing to try various sexual practices with the same sex", says Martin Kožíšek, manager of Internet security firm Seznam.cz.

How to recognize webcam trolling and how to prevent

The simplest method of recognizing the webcam trolling is the absence of sound in the video. If the user on the other side of the webcam starts to apologize that he/she does not have a microphone and cannot answer in real time, it is probably deception. Most available video loops do not include sound recording, person on the camera does not talk, he/she communicates with you only via text chat.

Another way to check whether it is deception or actual transfer is to ask the person on webcam to confirm his/her identity by a text message in real time, which will be seen on the webcam, such as a name on a piece of paper, today's date or any agreed message. So you can easily confirm the identity of the person.

Trust but verify

What to say in conclusion? In case you communicate with foreign users on the Internet, thoroughly check their identity and especially remember how easy it is to forge not only photos but also videos.

dr. Kamil Kopecký, Center PRVoK PdF UP / E-Bezpečí

Example of fraud (Facebook)

fake_facebook_webcam

Example of fraud (Skype)

skype_podvod

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