The FBI is investigating claims that newly-crowned Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf and several other women have been taken in by wiley sextortionists — a silly-sounding portmanteau, a scary-as-shit reality where hackers infiltrate women's webcams, surreptitiously photograph them in various states of undress, and then try to convince the women to pay to keep the photos private. Jesus nude Beyonce lip syncing Christ.
According to the LA Times, several months ago, Wolf received an email saying someone had tried to log onto her Facebook profile from another computer. Shortly thereafter, she received an email from a man who said he had boobies pictures of her in his possession that he had obtained via her webcam and that if she didn't want them to be shown publicly, she better cough up some cash.
Wolf believes that her computer's webcam was hacked and that the pictures were taken without her knowledge (the little green light didn't even go on!), and she's not the only woman to have something like this happen to her. The LA Times reports that "several" other women were similarly targeted.
Naked Security notes that usually— but not always, as was in the case of Wolf — hacked webcams' green light will turn on. The site recommends that if users want to protect themselves from webcam hacking— WHICH I CANNOT BELIEVE IS A REAL THING OH MY GOD — they should put a small patch or piece of tape over the webcam when they're not using it.
Or you can go another route and do your best to act unsexy whenever you're around your computer. Example: here's the image that hackers would have if they'd hacked into my webcam this morning:
(sound of 1000 boners dying)
Also, for the love of pantslessness, enable two-step verification on all of your accounts. It could have halted that string of celebrity email nude photo hacks that happened last year, and could have prevented the "epic hacking" of former Gizmodo staffer Mat Honan, which still haunts my cyberdreams.