German Malware May Put PC’s Camera at Risk, By Cornelius Rahn and Brian Parkin - Oct 10, 2011 5:45 AM MT, Bloomberg News

The German government is using spying software that violates the country’s constitutional law because it contains functions beyond the interception of Internet-based communication, a hacker organization said.

The malware, once installed on a computer, can receive software and remotely execute it, the Chaos Computer Club said. It can also be used to control hardware such as microphones and cameras for room surveillance as well as upload falsified evidence to the target hard drive, said Hamburg-based CCC, which calls itself Europe’s largest hacker group.
The German government takes allegations about illegal surveillance software used by investigative authorities “very seriously” and will examine the claims at every level of its operations, chief government spokesman Steffen Seibert said at the same press conference today.
The spy software contains security weaknesses that make it possible for third parties to control the target computer once the trojan is installed, the CCC said. As part of an effort to conceal the source of the attack, all data is routed through a data center in the U.S., which could violate “a fundamental principle of national sovereignty,” according to the CCC.