Friday, September 08, 2006
weird video chat with unknown stranger
I just got done spooking a video chat intrusion on my system. As an IT consultant when I've got nothing better to do, I thought I should toss this one out there.
I was posting a comment at Dave Taylor's blog, scolding him for hypertext link ads in post editorial (double-underlined irrelevant commerce links), when I was suddenly interrupted by a Skype call.
A woman named "Muthamani" wished to contact me. I picked up the phone, I mean I clicked the blue phone icon, then another dialogue box asked permission for video webcam chat. I accepted. This was unwise, since I did not know the caller, though she may have posted some comments at this blog, I seem to vaguely recall.
That's not good enough to permit video chat. I was in error. You never know why someone wants to see you physically, see your live video image. Or why they want to show themselves. A smart web user moves with discretion and caution.
I used some precautions. I had the webcam facing a wall, and I had bizarre music by Eddie the Rat ("Breathing Underwater in the Data Stream" from Lip-synching at Zero Gravity CD) blaring wildly out of my boombox in my attic office.
So this video intruder was greeted by Vaspers represented by a wall visually and Eddie the Rat sonically.
When I saw her webcam image, I then turned my webcam on my face, wearing sunglasses of course, due to my eye problems. I cannot tolerate any kind of glare. Anyway, I kept asking her questions she refused to answer. That's creepy.
"How do you know me?" I asked her as I gazed at her face. A black lady, maybe Nigerian. No reply. "Can you see me now?"
"Yes, I see you now", she replied, in what would be the only answer I ever got from this mysterious lady. "Where are you?"
"I'm in the blogosphere," I said automatically, as if in a trance.
"Where?" she asked again.
"The blogosphere, the realm of the blogs," I snarled, a bit snippy at her lack of comprehension. See, I get that all the time. "Blogs? Blogosphere? What that?" these untuned-inners whine every day all day.
Then, since she was not forthcoming, I decided in my extreme Vasperiness, to freak her out. But I solemnly swear I heard her say something like "you're upside down", so she started it.
I slowly began to spin the webcam so that I appeared to be upside down. As I spun the camera, I kept talking, kept repeating my questions "who are you?" and "how you find me?" over and over again, as if in a trance.
In a deep trance, I began shaking my webcam and panning in and out maniacally, so that my head was flying around uncontrollably, as if in a trance, and in trance I zoomed around, bodilessly, decapitated and happy, soaring through dishes and trees, with superimpositions and image bleed occuring sporadically, sifted with pseudo stills. My head was pleading and blurring like it was full of lightning.
Boiiippp! went the Skype popup box, and my invasive video chat intruder was gone, having never introduced or explained herself, and having formed a unique impression of the blogosphere and the ghosts, like me, who haunt it, scaring others away.
This is my domain.
I have many protections and shields, but the weakest spot in any defense is user behavior, vulnerable to social engineering.
Could this be a malicious intrusion? You programmers and internet experts out there, what do you think?
Posted by steven edward streight at 9/08/2006 10:25:00 AM