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

  • ImageMagick Convert PDF Not Authorized
  • ImageMagick Converted PDF to JPEG some files have a black background solution
  • Linux Mint Mate Customize the Lock screen messages and hide username and real name
  • Ubuntu/Gnome/Mint/Centos How To Take a partial screenshot
  • ssh how to verify your host key / avoid MIM attacks
  • Cisco IP Phone CP-8845 8800/8900 Series How To Reset To Factory Settings Instructions
  • ls how to list ONLY directories
  • How to encrypt your SSH private key file id_rsa
  • Linux Mint 18 Disable User Name List from showing on Login Screen
  • Firefox Cannot Hit Enter Key In Address Bar and Location History Not Working
  • Cisco Unified Communications Manager / CUCM IP 8.6,10,12 Install Error Solution
  • Ubuntu Debian Mint Linux SSHD OpenSSH Server Not Starting After Reboot Solution
  • nmap how to scan for all ports and not just the 1000 most common ports
  • Windows 7,8,10 and Server 2008, 2012, 2016, 2019 Read Only Attribute Won't Go Away
  • bind / named how to make a wildcard record and retain defined A records
  • Cisco Unified Communications Manager 12 Install Errors on Proxmox/KVM
  • Local Vs Universally Administered MAC Address NIC Refuses to come up
  • Cisco Unified Communications Manager 12 CUCM 12 - How To Enable Video Calling
  • Windows 7, 8, 10, Windows Server 2008, 2012, 2016, 2019 How To AC97 Audio Drivers and Other Unsigned Drivers
  • Cisco Unified Communications Manager / CUCM IP Telephony Definitions