is it possible to modify a standard USB camera into a night vision camera?
Digital cameras have an ir filter that removes most of the ir in normal light. You will get MUCH better photos by removing the IR filter.
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As Lemonie said, you best bet would be an IR spot or flood light. You can buy IR LEDS here. Hook them up to a battery and a resistor and mount them on your camera. Camera's can see Infrared light, however humans can not. So, it is basically like putting a bunch of little lights on the side of your camera, except that humans cannot detect the light.
those are some expensive LEDs! cheaper ones here: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.2399
This guide seems to indicate it's possible.
Probably, try IR floodlighting and see what that does. L