Woman Chatting With Child on FB Messenger Suddenly Sees Man Spying On Them—IN THE APP

in steemit •  9 months ago

A concerned woman has brought her deeply disturbing story to the Free Thought Project after an incident occurred while she was using Facebook Messenger. While she was playing in the app with her nephew, a random stranger appeared on her screen who seemed to be watching her and her nephew.

"So, I'm taking pics of my nephew through FB messenger while talking to my sister through messenger as well, suddenly a video of a man appears sent instead of the picture I was currently taking," Courtney explained to the Free Thought Project.

"I believe someone was watching me through my messenger," Courtney said, noting that she has "now covered my cameras with tape."

Courtney sent TFTP proof of her claims in the form of screen caps as well as the actual video of the random stranger.


In the video, the person appears to be watching the screen and then pulls back once he noticed he was on her camera. Ominous indeed. What's more, the background sound indicates that he is in a room with other people—showing that an organization or group could be behind this breach.

"While I was using FB messenger to take pics of my nephew, I was recording him, when all of the sudden the man's face showed up," Courtney explained. "So, I immediately stopped and turned off my phone to put tape on the cameras."

"I was holding the middle button to record the video and the guy showed up instead of my nephew in front of me," said Courtney, adding, "it was pretty scary."


Last year, Vyas Sekar, a faculty member of CyLab at Carnegie Melon University and a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, told TIME magazine that Facebook is admittedly vulnerable to these types of scenarios.

According to the report:

It’s important to note, Sekar says, that “anything can be hacked.” More importantly, he adds that sometimes no amount of back-end security will stop someone from accessing your messages if they decide to do so by physically accessing the device they’re on.   And if someone is able to access your device, besides simply glancing at your messages, they might also be able to install a hidden spying app that can continue to access information in the background of your phone or computer. It’s also possible for hackers to target a user’s Facebook password by using password-cracking tools or exploiting the ability to reset a password, then use that to sign into a victim’s Facebook account. “There’s often enough someone can see on a public profile that gives enough information to crack a password,” Sekar says. Hackers can also download a fake app that can mimic Facebook or Messenger’s interface, Sekar said, which may also be used to prompt a user to put in information, like a password, that can be used by someone else.

Also as TFTP reported in 2016, this seems to be a recurring situation.

It was discovered by researchers that the official developer’s application Facebook Crawler could be exploited to see what links had been sent through the private messaging application. The Facebook Crawler works by assigning website links and attachments an identification number and then stores this information.

Once a link is shared and assigned a number, information about the link is then accessible to anyone simply by searching for the identification number. All objects stored on Facebook, whether it’s a picture, a status, or a link, are given a unique, non-chronological identification number.


Inti De Ceukelaire, a reporter/researcher from Medium, then discovered that with the proper identification number, it was possible to access information about links privately shared through Facebook Messenger. Conveniently, Facebook left this vulnerability opened even after it was discovered.

While perverts and sickos certainly cause great concern over spying on messenger, it would seem odd for these people to work in groups like the person in the video above. While it is entirely possible that he was a simple hacker attempting to lurk while his roommates played video games behind him, it is also entirely possible that he is part of a government agency who has compromised Facebook's security to gather intelligence.

Indeed, it is also entirely possible that the messenger app simply got its wires crossed and connected two random strangers. However, given the nature of who uses Facebook and the rising number of children using the app—thanks to deceptive marketing—is that a chance you want to keep taking?

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Once again it is shown that:

  1. F-c-book has no concern for your privacy
  2. Our phones are not our tool. (the belong to someone else, we are only borrowing them)

The vulnarabilities in boogle and f-c-book and microsloth appear to be too numerous to be anything but deliberate holes left for future exploitation.

That's creepy.

One reason to make it a legal requirement that all webcams come with covers on them.

I'd be constantly paranoid if that happened to me.


Great ideal about covers on webcam. It would not have helped in this case as she was using it. Best solution lets all go back to basic phones - are phones are too smart!


I get paranoid of all the laws and legal requirements.
Cover the camera, tell you friends, problem solved, no need for more bureaucracy.
Just saying :)

edit; Oh and don't forget the microphone :)


So, how do you prevent the mic from being used to surveil you?

The only way I can think of is to cut the connection from the mic to the battery - which no cell phone to my knowledge provides a way to do.


Warning crazy comment :D

With a hammer. No that's a joke.

That's a good question.
First of all you can put it out in the setting.

If you don't use your phone for what it's made for. Talking to someone else. Maybe you could remove the microphone

But I believe there are still people who use them as phone's, I saw one lately, and was totally shocked. lol.
Laptops well I guess you can find video's for that one too.

Maybe you can put something over the microphone hole when your not using it so the sound get duller. (don't know the exact word.)
Call a friend and ask for the result If he says I can't here you ....it's good

Contact the company and ask them. If they have any solutions (any time soon)
Put a little pressure on them say your gonna sue them or protest or so.

Stick a tape on your mouth in the vincinity of your phone. Then call your friend

End crazy comment over and out. :)

It's a problem, I know. Maybe if enough people make there problem heard someone will invent a solution . But a law...... i don't know..... not a fan.... laws could stop some solutions also.

Here is some article with an idea for using a dummy plug, could be something, of course you have to check if the main mic is closed of.


What is really necessary is a simple switch that physically cuts the circuit to the mic.

It's simple, completely at will, and as cheap as dirt.

Not one phone on the market has such a feature, despite the fact that sales of such phones would be brisk, perhaps even dominating the market practically overnight.

The reason is that phones are loss leaders. The real profit comes from data mining, and making phones that are secure from that would cost billions to the profiteers of the surveillance state.

I might design one anyway. I don't care much for profits, anyway. I have simple needs and they don't include golden escalators. They do include secure communications.


Yeah that switch is the best idea. Have you seen the edit about the dummy plug. I think that's a good idea...for the moment.

I don't need golden escalators either.

Thank you for the reply


I had not followed that link, and thank you very much for bringing it to my attention.

"The Purism company (clearly a pun on NSA's PRISM project) builds laptops and tablets with a specific focus on privacy (by the way their Librem 13 model is the first officially Qubes-certified laptop). One of their originality is to equip each one of their product with hardware switches allowing to physically disable the camera, microphone, WiFi and Bluetooth. However, they still seem to run on CPUs enforcing Intel Management Engine (an Intel Core i5 in the case of the Librem 13)."

This. This is what we need. I am glad to see folks working on this, as I had not heard it was being done. It can't come soon enough for me.

"For privacy-conscious users, unless their geeky part push them to actively participate in the open-hardware move, using low-level software isolation on computers, a dummy plug in the cellphone and some black electrical duct-tape on each camera should be sufficient to quickly and easily provide a good level of privacy without really sacrificing convenience."

For now, I reckon this is what I'll do.


Edit: I also noted that someone mentioned linking the mic to a radio. I'd rather loop some recording of something traumatic, such as pigs being slaughtered, and link that to the mic.

Creepy snoops deserve no better.

I also noted that someone else pointed out that gyroscopes on mobile devices can be used as a mic 0_o I did not know that could be done.


I'm well aware of all the data mining of companies and government spying. (5G, smart grid, drones, etc ) That's one of the many reason, I don't have a phone. So I don't have those problems. I have another bigger device, which still needs a little work though.

I hate to bring it to you but there is also the gps.
I believe then you can have a metal case around you phone when your moving. Not sure about that one, though

Problems keep existing because when you use the phone all functions are on.

For me it's important to do what I can do (not go paranoid,lol) and keep a little humor in life. They (the statists overlords) hate humor.

Everything you do only goes so far, but to land on a positive note. There are people making stuff like vpn, tor, linux and many things more where I don't have a clue about how they work.

It would help a lot if people only would just shut things of in their setting, don't click yes to an app without knowing what they do in your phone or computer, and most important, don't throw their whole life on internet.I guess that's not easily done, I tried to inform some people, but they just shrug it off, not all though and I have the impression that more are getting aware , and know they must protect themselves.

There are really big problems in the world and they can be very overwhelming but sometimes you have to jump out of the matrix, in nature (without the phone of course) where all those problems don't exist (well there could be drones surveilling I know)

I will read the article in full didn't know about gyroscopes as a mics either.


Creepy snoops deserve no better.

Agree 100%

Thank you for your reply. Peace.

(edited out some mistakes)

Any service is vulnerable to this. Be careful, everyone!

That is properly terrifying.

I put tape on my cameras long ago but the phone does not work right if you cover up the secondary camera.

I say we start the analog movement...back to landlines, CB radios, mesh networks, etc. They aren't radiating our bodies and are much less prone to invasion of privacy! But this would mean no Facetime or Snapchat, people would probably die from lack of endorphin rush...

Yet another reason to flee fakebook.

I am dismayed that my latest phone installs it and Messenger as part of the OS. It was difficult to disable them, and without installing a different OS, they cannot be deleted.

What we also need are phones with physical disconnects for the mic, camera, and batteries. A phone with these features would sell like hotcakes. The problem is that phones are loss leaders, and the real profit comes from harvesting user data, which makes even a market dominating device that prevents surveillance unprofitable.


Top the best my friend