Update: OS X 10.11 “El Capitan”
I’ve received multiple reports that iSight Disabler 5.0 no longer works as expected on OS X 10.11 “El Capitan”. It appears that Apple has made some changes to the security model in 10.11 that prevent iSight Disabler from making permission changes to the iSight drivers located in the /System directory. More news on this once 10.11 has been officially released and I’ve had a chance to test.
Patches are welcome.
March 20, 2014: iSight Disabler 5 released! Now supports Mavericks.
July 24, 2011: iSight Disabler 4 released! Now supports Lion.
techslaves.org’s iSight Disabler is an AppleScript that automates the process of disabling and enabling the iSight driver(s) in OS X. The goal is to prevent applications from using the built-in USB iSight found in Macbooks, Macbook Pros and iMacs. I’ve seen various queries online about how to disable the iSight and while the answer was already hanging around, there wasn’t a simple way to disable and enable the iSight without going to the command line.
The gist of the AppleScript is changing the permissions on various driver files that are used to provide applications with access to the iSight. The list of files that are managed in such a way by iSight Disabler has grown since the initial release for Tiger where disabling only a single driver was enough. With Leopard, subsequently with Snow Leopard and Lion, additional driver files must be acted upon by iSight Disabler to ensure the iSight is fully “disabled”.
When you click “Disable iSight”, read access by all is removed from the driver files (chmod a-r).
When you click “Enable iSight”, read access by all is granted to the driver files (chmod a+r).
To install the iSight Disabler AppleScript, place it in /Users/You/Library/Scripts/ and activate the script menu in your menu bar with the AppleScript Utility for easy access. To “see” your Library folder in Finder under Lion, you may need to run the following command from Terminal.app:
chflags nohidden ~/Library.