Linux Mint Ubuntu Debian How To Disable Webcam Automatically Onboot To Prevent Spying and Privacy Violations

It is well known hackers, the NSA, CIA and other groups have created malware to secretly turn on your webcam and microphone on your phone, tv etc.. But fortunately on our computers and laptops we have some options.

Most webcams use the "uvcvideo" kernel module / driver.  You can disable this in two ways on boot. I recommend both just as a failsafe. 

Disable it on rc.local once your system boots automatically

Add the following to /etc/rc.local:

/sbin/rmmod uvcvideo

Even if the kernel module was loaded during boot this will unload it.

Disable it from loading at all in blacklist.conf

Edit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

blacklist uvcvideo
 

Now of course note a hacker who gains access as root/admin could still load this driver and spy on you but it is a reasonable amount of privacy.  To increase security you should use electrical or duct tape over your microphone and webcam itself.

As a more invasive mode you could also edit your initramfs and kernel not to even contain the driver (but the issue is that on kernel upgrade the uvcvideo driver will be back).

You could also use a cronjob like this every minute:

sudo crontab -e

*/1 * * * * /sbin/rmmod uvcvideo

This would try to unload the driver every minute just in case something malicious did activate it again. 

 


Tags:

linux, mint, ubuntu, debian, disable, webcam, automatically, onboot, violationsit, hackers, nsa, groups, malware, secretly, microphone, etc, fortunately, laptops, webcams, quot, uvcvideo, kernel, module, failsafe, rc, sbin, rmmod, unload, loading, blacklist, conf, edit, modprobe, hacker, gains, admin, electrical, duct, invasive, mode, initramfs, contain, upgrade, cronjob, sudo, crontab, malicious, activate,

Latest Articles

  • Linux Ubuntu Cannot Print Large Images
  • Cannot Print PDF Solution and Howto Resize
  • Linux Console Login Screen TTY Change Message
  • Apache Cannot Start Listening Already on 0.0.0.0
  • MySQL Bash Query to pipe input directly without using heredoc trick
  • CentOS 6 and 7 / RHEL Persistent DHCP Solution
  • Debian Ubuntu Mint rc-local service startup error solution rc-local.service: Failed at step EXEC spawning /etc/rc.local: Exec format error
  • MySQL Cheatsheet Guide and Tutorial
  • bash script kill whois or other command that is running for too long
  • Linux tftp listens on all interfaces and IPs by DEFAULT Security Risk Hole Solution
  • python import docx error
  • Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express Cheatsheet CUCME CME
  • Linux Ubuntu Debian Missing privilege separation directory: /var/run/sshd
  • bash how to count the number of columns or words in a line
  • bash if statement how to test program output without assigning to variable
  • RTNETLINK answers: Network is unreachable
  • Centos 7 how to save iptables rules like Centos 6
  • nfs tuning maximum amount of connections
  • qemu-kvm error "Could not initialize SDL(No available video device) - exiting"
  • Centos 7 tftpd will not work with selinux enabled