Today I accidentally found that the camera shows the image of my screen while I can see nothing in Scanners and Cameras:

Scanners and Cameras

The webcam used to return no camera, but this time it shows my screen. How is that possible?



Software can access the screen content by other means than by using an optical device (when making a "screenshot" this becomes obvious). This technology exists some decades now, and as you correctly say, might be used for spying.

But, there is no camera involved.

Added - quoting Wikipedia:

The first screenshots were created with the first interactive computers around 1960

  • I know software can access screen content, but I don't know how this happened. Can you give me some instructions about how to turn this off? – skygate Aug 4 '17 at 9:27
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    This "Neave Interactive Webcam Toy" is using Adobe Flash Player (a browser plugin which is installed on your machine) to access your screen content. I'd recommend to disable/deinstall Flash, as it poses severe security risks. If you deem Flash to be trustworthy nevertheless, you might try to check settings in the Flash Players "Camera and microphone settings". – jvb Aug 4 '17 at 11:01
  • No it's HTML5, Chrome has disabled Flash long ago. Here's the link: webcamtoy.com – skygate Aug 4 '17 at 13:09
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    Speaking of "Camera settings", I found the name of the camera device in Chrome. After searching it on Google it turned out that there's something to do with ffmpeg. – skygate Aug 4 '17 at 13:13

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