Think it's safe to web browse nude when you're not using Skype? Think it's safe to save erotic pictures of yourself on your computer?

Using remote administration tools, this community of hackers is making women the unsuspecting victims to prying eyes.

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.”

Creepy "Ratters" Spying on Women Through Their Webcams and Stealing...

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Replies to This Discussion

Misogynist hackers sounds right! Somehow I doubt there are any "ratters" (gay or otherwise) going after men.

Eh, can't agree with you there.  I'm sure there are creepy gay guys who victimize men the same way that straight men victimize women.  I've mostly had decent guys, who knew how to take no for an answer, hit on me, but my experiences may not be typical.

Gotta watch the absolute statements, man.  I'm sure it's a small percentage of these sorts of incidents which are committed against men, but I can't imagine that it has never happened.

You're right, I was speculating too absolutely there.

I'll still say that misogyny probably figures into the majority of those attacks. Spying on, and stealing pictures from, unwilling women is not (just) sexual -- exerting that power and control is diametrically opposite to watching the many willing exhibitionists that broadcast themselves on the internet.


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