Brave attempts to get access to webcam even I choose not to allow sites to use my camera!

Description of the issue:
Notification from my internet security application of Brave Browser attempts to access my webcam frequently while surfing the web although I choose not to allow sites to use my camera in Settings->Security and Privacy->Site and Shields Settings->Permissions

How can this issue be reproduced?
While surfing the web when open some sites in a new tab (like opening YouTube video) I got this notification from my internet security that Brave Browser attempts to access my webcam (although it should ask first if the previously mentioned setting is allowed).

After happened so so many times, I went to previously mentioned setting and choose not to allow sites to access my camera…

Even though this keeps happening!!!

I’ve attached screenshot of the issue.

Expected result:
Hope to understand why this keeps happening without giving any notification or warning and how to prevent this from happening?

Brave Version( check About Brave):
Version 1.35.103 Chromium: 98.0.4758.102 (Official Build) (64-bit)

Additional Information:

1 Like

HMohamad ,

So, you have gone to:

brave://settings/content/camera

and Enabled the switch:

“Don’t allow sites to use your camera”

And in the Kaspersky Internet Security Window, you have Enabled the switch:

“Remember my choice for this application”

before you click on the button:

“Block now”

–

You can – via some controls within Windows OS – control which applications have access to your computer’s camera (and microphone):

Do you consider a program to open camera or listen to microphone without a user permission an acceptable behavior from Brave!

It seems a security/privacy breach from Brave Browser to turn on the camera while not having permission to do so, that’s not the correct behavior to trust!

Of course I can block the camera from internet security application or completely turn it off from the OS settings, that’s not a solution!

What I need here is to know why this is happening and how to solve this from Brave itself (do I miss a settings in Brave to turn this off or this could be a security breach needs to be patched?)

Thanks.

Hi
To stop anyone connecting to your camera go to windows settings, search for camera, click on camera privacy settings, then put off camera access.
Do the same for microphone.

I hope this will help.

@CerealLover

My question here, why does Brave Browser access my camera without asking for permission while I’m telling it not to allow any site to access it from privacy settings???

Is that normal? What if it also access microphone or location without asking for permission? Can I trust this behavior from Brave browser?

HMohamad ,

You are using the Microsoft Windows OS. The built-in Internet browser is called Edge.

Edge (it is based upon the Chromium “engine” - also used by Brave), has a Developer Tools feature (as does Brave Browser); and Microsoft has instructions for you, on how to use Developer Tools. When you get a Developer Tools console window opened, select the Network tool:

Visit your web sites of interest. For each, examine the Developer Tools > Network . . . for the many, many “scripts” that are downloaded to your computer.

Without constant policing by the many, many sources of those scripts, How do you know, that the scripts are safe? That the scripts are not Key Loggers nor grabbing images of your Internet browser windows?

The answer to your question, is, that there are many processes that are attempting to make some in-road to your devices that are connected to a network . . . and also, gathering info about you.

If you believe Brave to be a security problem, then why not Microsoft’s Edge?

In the meantime, get to know How to use Developer Tools > Network, for any Internet browser that is your choice, to use.

And learn more, about Kaspersky Internet Security . . . there is likely to be some list or log that shows the various items that are allowed or blocked or in some quarantine status. And some of those items, might have already (by some default process during installation of the Kaspersky software) . . . been added without you personally inspecting each item.

I agree with you, that it is a surprise, that Brave Browser – according to Kaskpersky Internet Security – attempted to gather info about, or use, your computer’s camera.

But, you will find, over time, other processes that are also trying to do something that you may not like. That is a reason why Kaspersky (and other such network security firewall-type programs) created the window that you encountered.

And, that is also why every Internet browser has so many switches that you need to study and know well. Along with all the switches and featurs of some security and/or firewall applications.

Be determined to learn about, what you are discovering:

That the size of the general instrument panel (the combination of many applications and processes that we use), with its maze of options, preferences, settings, and switches . . . that affect and control our connections to, and use of, our computing devices PLUS our network connections . . . is much bigger than we wish . . . but in order to succeed at using the technology, there is much study.

A lot of Brave Browser development, apparently occurs at the GitHub website. That place is a mess, but I continue to struggle with learning about it.

Note that while your antivirus software may have notified you that Edge was accessing your camera/microphone, your camera and microphone were never activated during this check to see if they were connected. This is why your settings for camera/microphone permissions (both within Edge and in general settings) did not come in to play. Microsoft Edge cannot access your camera/microphone without explicit permission.

So I do not know if it’s the idea that your antivirus is just very sensitive and is letting you know anytime anything even checks to see if you have a camera microphone or if perhaps the code that Brave used is from the older chromium prior to them fixing it so that the message you’re seeing will no longer display.

I’m going to tag @fmarier, Product Security Engineer, since this is a security and privacy related issue. But then also going to make sure to include @Mattches, Browser Support, as well. The two of them may be able to explain more and work on limiting these things in the future.

It is the weekend now, so don’t expect any replies today or tomorrow as they don’t often work the forums over the weekend

2 Likes

@Saoiray
Thanks Saoiray for your reply and concern! I included Brave and Chromium versions in my original post and they supposed to be up to date.

This issue happened to me when I was using Google Chrome, and that was one of many reasons which made me switch to Brave along with its reputation in prioritizing privacy and security of its users.

That’s why I was astonished when I got a notification panel from KIS that Brave Browser is using my webcam (that was before changing KIS’s application control to ask for permission for camera and microphone for Brave, and same for other internet browsers which I rarely use them after the switch to Brave) and it lasts for some time and maybe until I close the opened tab!

I hope Brave Support and Security teams members provide us with an explanation and solution for the matter in hands.

@Saoiray
Should we expect any solution from Brave Product Security Engineer or Browser Support any time soon?

@HMohamad Maybe. I tagged them on Saturday, which is during the weekend and they weren’t on the forums. They would have come back yesterday but now continuing what they were working on and catching up on posts.

I’m sure @Mattches and/or @fmarier will be able to swing by sometime this week.

@HMohamad,
Can you please tell me what sites you’re viewing in which this behavior occurs?

1 Like

@Mattches
Mostly when opening YouTube videos; this also may happen with different websites, but YouTube videos for certain.

Thank you for confirming. I’ve forwarded this information to our Security team, but I’m inclined to think this is a false positive/error on Kaspersky’s end. I have tested this on my end with other AV software (AVG, Malware Bytes and Avast) enabled and am seeing no such warning. Additionally, when the browser truly wants access to your (camera, mic, input device, etc), the browser itself will prompt you, which it doesn’t sound like is happening on your end.

Again I will make sure there’s no real bug here, but I can assure you that there is no “funny business” happening in the background. Brave is not attempting to view your camera or gain access to any other device unless you’ve given it express permission to do so.

Hope to have more information soon.

1 Like

@HMohamad,

When you have been visiting websites / web pages, while running Brave Browser and the KIS pop-up window appears more than once during such a running session with your computer, does the Process ID (“PID”) number (in the pop-up window) change?

–

Windows OS has a diagnostic tool named “Event Viewer”. How to get it started and some basics about its use, are at;

There is a main window for the application. The particular events of interest re your issue, would show in the Custom Views > Administrative Events as depicted in the illustration:

–

Do not be alarmed by the “Error” and “Warning” labels. With experience, using Event Viewer, one sees such alarms, often.

The object of the exercise – if you choose to take a look – is to be prepared and have that Event Viewer window open and in a location within your computer display, so that you can observe events that are being listed, while you are also using Brave Browser.

Especially when the KIS pop-up window appears. You just might manage a screenshot of a list of events, in which, you discover some Brave process(es) occuring at, or near, the same time as the KIS pop-up window appearance.

For some reason, despite all your good efforts . . . KIS is able to return its attention upon one, or more, of the Brave Browser processes, and you might capture such an event.

–

PS. You know of the Windows OS Task Manager. Brave Browser also has a Task Manager – search for those terms under the Brave Help menu.

@289wk
Thank you for your follow up on the issue and your help, appreciate that very much.
I applied your idea and found the process related to camera access action is “Video Capture Utility”, and it happens also when access my Gmail through web.
I’m attaching screenshots of both Brave Task Manager and Kaspersky popup with PID which when compared with the one displayed on Windows Task manager matched too!


1 Like

@HMohamad ,

Nice catch.

I do not have a Windows OS machine, so I cannot confirm the location where you would find the Video Capture exe . . . maybe:

C:\Program Files\BraveSoftware\Brave-Browser\Application\

–

BTW, I am watching an instructional video by Kaspersky:

“https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55F5QWyjdE4”

Go to maybe 16 seconds in that video, and the instructor shows how to Enable KIS Private Browsing.

I wonder if you tested – Do the KIS pop-up windows show, when that Private Browsing switch is in either position?

Brave Browser has Private Browsing, affected by Settings providing, for examples:

  • conservative use (if any) of cookies
  • conservative allowance (if any) of javascripts
  • conservative Shields
  • other measures, such as AdBlock
  • using / opening a New Private Window

You know all that, but I am wondering:

  • Is your system protected as well, with KIS “Private Browsing” turned OFF?

  • Does the KIS “Private Browsing” switch effect (behind the scenes), obscure KIS ability to block the “Video Capture” exe (whatever its actual name is)?

–

If you set up, in order to view the Event Viewer activity, and you use either the Brave Browser Task Manager or the Windows OS Task Manager, to stop “Video Capture” from running . . . I wonder what you’ll see, about Brave Browser revealing its angst, in that Event Viewer list.

–

Maybe this is all more simple now, given your discovery. KIS is noticing the normal effort by the Brave Browser exe, to occasionally check to see What is the [Brave Browser] “Video Capture” exe process state of readiness?

And KIS is needlessly alarmed. The correct choice in the KIS pop-up window, is to ALLOW (and Remember that).

(And then, you would be relying upon Brave Browser settings re the camera.)

@289wk
“Video Capture Utility” is not an exe file or standalone file as you think or even Malware, It’s an extension/service related to Brave Browser just like “Bat Ads Service” or “Audio Service”.

I’m also not looking for surfing web in “Private Browsing” mode, as I don’t mind having identification cookies and would rather restrict their use along with websites tracking services using browser settings.

However, when I open YouTube on “Private Browsing” mode then open a video, I’d also have the same issue!

What I’m looking for here is to identify why Brave Browser is trying to capture a video using my camera while opening google related services (Gmail & YouTube) and how to solve such issue!

I hope with this last catch that Brave Team could understand this issue more and tell us what to do!

@HMohamad , @Mattches ,

Another browser using Chromium – JxBrowser – release notes:

Posted on December 15, 2020

We are glad to announce a patch update with several important fixes and improvements.

Improvements (one of which, is:)

  • During Engine initialization Kaspersky shows a security warning that “Chromium is attempting to get access to webcam”. We updated the initialization flow so that the webcam functionality is initialized only when the web page requests access to it. It allows suppressing the warning dialog during Engine startup.

–

Also found:

1 Like

@HMohamad,
Can you please confirm whether or not you have any extensions installed in the browser at this time?

@Mattches
I have three extensions installed:

IDM Integration Module 6.40.8
Google Translate 2.0.11
Return YouTube Dislike 2.1.0.3

However, I tried turning them off but still have the same issue.