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Re: Why does my webcam's LED blink at random??

  • Subject: Re: Why does my webcam's LED blink at random??
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
  • Date: Mon, 13 Jun 2005 04:32:05 +0100
  • Newsgroups: uk.comp.misc
  • References: <Ay_qe.7471$q46.3715@newsfe1-win.ntli.net>
  • User-agent: KNode/0.7.2
Lobster wrote:

> I have a Logitech QuickCam USB webcam which is giving me cause for
> concern...
> It has a green LED above the lens, which is supposed to light up when
> the webcam is active, and that's what it's always done for me AFAIK.
> However, recently, when I'm not using the webcam (which is 99% of the
> time) I've noticed that the light's started coming on apparently
> randomly; sometimes just the occasional blink, other times a whole
> sequence of flashes or varying duration.  It looks like the LED on my
> router, like it's indicating data traffic or something.  It doesn't look
> like a loose-connection type of blinking.

This sort of pattern can possibly be due to a loose contact. Have you tried
jiggling the Webcam and see if that makes a difference? Since the LED is
digital, it's unlikely to behave like a dysfunctional fluorescent tube, but
still, it sounds plausible.

I have heard of computers apart from mine that emitted random
electronic-like noises. There was no obvious pattern either.

> This seems to happen regardless of what software I'm running;

In that case, it's unlikely to be O/S-related.

> furthermore I haven't installed any new software that I can think of.
> I'm on broadband, but have a router with hardware firewall, plus Windows
> software firewall, and up-to-date AVG antivirus software, so I can't
> think I've been compromised that way.  And if something/someone was able
> to control my webcam, surely the LED would be 'on' continuously?

Try detecting suspicious traffic and unexplained CPU operations. Also
disconnect from the Internet and see if it makes a difference.

> Any ideas?  Do I worry?

Probably worried over a broken LED, then becoming a little paranoid. Why
would a worm/hacker ever want to grab pictures, as opposed to exploiting a
dial-up connection, using your computer as a proxy or destroying your


Roy S. Schestowitz

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