For example, security researcher Charlie Miller demonstrated a hack on systems that control Apple batteries, causing the battery to discharge rapidly and potentially leading to explosive consequences. The spying on people without turning on warning lights issue is far from an academic concern.
A tell-tale flickering light was central feature of a notorious case involving school-supplied laptops in Pennsylvania back in 2008.
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Administrators at Lower Merion High School near Philadelphia reportedly captured 56,000 images of students by using a trojan installed on school-issued laptops.
"Students reported seeing a ‘creepy’ green flicker that indicated that the camera was in use.
Brocker and Checkoway's reprogramming tactic allows the camera and it light to be activated independently, so that the camera can be running while the light is switched off.
The researchers have released proof-of-concept software to demonstrate the trick, including a paper , entitled .