09 Sep This program lets you snap a photo of whoever’s trying to hack you
Have you ever gotten an e-mail from a service warning that someone is trying to hack into your account and wondered: Who is doing this to me?
A password manager called LogMeOnce now gives you the option to take a picture of whoever is trying to access the accounts that you’ve registered with its service. It does this by hacking the hacker’s camera, whether that is attached to a computer or mobile device, and secretly taking a photo.
The feature, which is called Mugshot and launched Tuesday, also provides you with information on where your attacker is located and the hacker’s IP address — the unique set of numbers that identify each computer on a network. And it offers the option to grab a photo from the rear-facing camera of a mobile device, so you can get a look at the hacker’s surroundings.
LogMeOnce, a Fairfax, Va. firm incorporated in 2011, has a patent pending on the proprietary technology, which essentially tries to protect consumers by exposing the identities, or at least the locations, of hackers. Chief executive Kevin Shahbazi phrased it another way: a digital burglar alarm.
It is “identical to an alarm system that everyone uses to protect their home, business or property,” only for the digital age, he said. Shahbazi compared it to work he’s done in the past with closed-circuit television cameras, nanny cams and other security measures.
Going after hackers by hacking their systems — “hack backs,” as they are called — falls in a legal and moral gray area. A growing number of cybersecurity experts and businesses say that such “active defense” measures are necessary as the threat posed by anonymous hackers grows. But officially, the U.S. government does not allow private companies to hack back on their own.
Shahbazi said that his offering is legal, more like the cameras that guard ATMs to catch robbers. One could also draw parallels to location apps, such as “Find my iPhone,” which have been used by ordinary consumers to bring device thieves to justice. LogMeOnce simply takes matters one step further by bringing a more advance hack tracking tool to the masses.