Ars Technica reported this weekend on how hackers have been spying on women through their webcams using RATs (remote administration tools). It’s an unsettling read, revealing how “RAT operators have nearly complete control over the computers they infect; they can (and do) browse people’s private pictures in search of erotic images to share with each other online. They even have strategies for watching where women store the photos most likely to be compromising.”
The online community of RAT operators, “ratters,” Ars Technica notes, is almost exclusively male. They share the fruits of the computers they compromise — largely intimate images of women swiped from computer files or caught on webcam — on aboveground hacker forums. They call the women they spy on “slaves.” RAT technology is not new, but has become vastly more sophisticated and undetectable by victims.