It’s not good to be an unknowing "slave"
The software called "Remote Administration Tools" ("RAT) allows a user to control another computer from far away. But when used secretly, the "RAT" software can be used for a darker purpose – it can let others secretly take over a remote computer, find and steal private files and spy on women via their webcams.
An article at Arts Technica illuminates the subculture of "RATters" who frequent forums and trade tips on how to play with their "slave" victims:
"i enjoy messing with my girl slaves"
"Man I feel dirty looking at these pics," wrote one forum poster at Hack Forums, one of the top "aboveground" hacking discussion sites on the Internet (it now has more than 23 million total posts). The poster was referencing a 134+ page thread filled with the images of female "slaves" surreptitiously snapped by hackers using the women’s own webcams. "Poor people think they are alone in their private homes, but have no idea they are the laughing stock on HackForums," he continued. "It would be funny if one of these slaves venture into learning how to hack and comes across this thread."
Whether this would in fact be "funny" is unlikely. 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.
"I just use the file manager feature of my RAT in whatever one im using and in [a RAT called] cybergate I use the search feature to find those jpgs [JPEG image files] that are ‘hidden’ unless u dig and dig and dig," wrote one poster. "A lot of times the slave will download pics from their phone or digital camera and I watch on the remote desktop to see where they save em to and that’s usually where you’ll find the jackpot!"
Read more: Meet the men who spy on women through their webcams. The Remote Administration Tool is the revolver of the Internet’s Wild West. Ars Technica>>