From Wikipedia: “professional covert listening devices (bugs) of the Central Intelligence Agency were equipped from 1968 onwards with a so-called isolator.”
> A bumblebee with a transponder acting as a non-linear junction for tracking the animal by way of harmonic radar.
That looks like something out of a James Bond movie!
Even a 1 percent error would be easy to detect, since radio receivers can easily have 100 dB of dynamic range, and decibels is a log scale, so that's massive!
Unlike the rear-facing camera, the front-facing camera does not have an IR filter and can easily pick up IR lights in the dark.
To try this at home, grab your TV remote, which uses IR light to send information to your TV and open the front-facing camera on your phone. Next, point the front end of the remote at the camera and press any of the remote buttons. The IR light that is normally not visible will be completely visible on your camera screen.
Well I’ll be darned. This works! (iPhone 7)
As the sibling says though, plenty of rear facing cameras are also IR sensitive. I imagine there's some onboard processing to correct the colour balance.
Many visible optical filters leak in the infrared, so perhaps a small amount gets through, but not enough to cause a noticeable colour cast in normal photography.
Vegetation in sunlight is a good test target, too. Leaves strongly reflect NIR.
Many surveillance cameras use an IR cut-off filter for their "day" or color mode though, so this may not work then (or at least, not work as well, depending on the cut-off filter and LED wavelengths).
And someone using a FLIR infrared camera to find hidden cameras:
Not even with a custom DNS or VPN?
I think the hall effect sensor functions as a "latch" to prevent the motion system from turning off the HVAC if you are in another room of a suite, out of view of the motion sensor, or asleep.
What do you mean by "smart mirrors" in this context? I can see various possibilities online, I'm just curious as to what it is that hotels have actually been installing and why. (Not having seen such a thing in a hotel myself)
They may also be using those sensors to know if someone opens your door while you're out of the hotel and/or without an authorized keycard, which might mean a robbery attempt.
An interesting build:
I found the link on Hackaday way back when, I have no idea about the rest of this shady IP address. Should have probably been more careful about posting something like this, but the electronics builds are so well documented.
Yes, the article mentions a product from the company, not in a sneaky way. The rest of it, some 2,800 words, is interesting and informative--to me, at least.
An article can be both informative and self-serving, and there's nothing wrong with that, provided there's no deception. Most of what you read online is self-serving, in some way.
First of all, your caveat does not hold. This article is deceptive in full. None of the advice presented here is good at all... "divide the room into quadrants and search each quadrant"? Why? Just search the entire room. The article fundamentally gives the impression that you will not actually be able to locate any spygear unless you have an RF detector and a camera beacon simply by not giving any good advice otherwise. "Check if the outlet covers have been changed?"
right, because when I bug a house that I own, I also buy a new outlet cover.
No one trying to sell you something is going to tell you how you could effectively live your life without their product. This is fundamentally deceptive, and seems to have gone so far as to have fooled even you.
The article answers that:
Splitting the room into sections will help you to systematically and meticulously go through the room and clear each section without skipping over any of the fine details.
This strategy is generally known as “divide and conquer”.
In military parlance, it means that you have a much greater advantage against 2 armies of half size separately than against them both simultaneously. This is known as Lanchester's law, and the whole point is that it's non-linear.
In algorithms, the idea is roughly that, given a method which solves a problem, it is often cheaper to split your input, solve each half, then merge them, than it is to run the algorithm on the entire input. Again, non-linear.
Dividing your room into quadrants provides NO advantage to searching your room. You still have to search each unit area methodically.
And surgeons were pretty sure they'd never leave an implement inside a patient, but the stats still improved with the introduction of checklists. Like checklists, the quadrant method means there's less demand on your memory, which means less chance of forgetting things if something unexpected happens.
This is a difference between content marketing and actually caring about informing the reader.
I bought a house that had a slight dimple in the heating duct of a ground-level bathroom, mostly concealed by the vent cover. I went down into the basement, and surely enough, from a certain spot, I had a clear view of the toilet and shower from below. I bent the duct back flush with the edge of the hole, and concluded that was probably one of the reasons that the sellers were getting divorced. So you might not find a camera. There might be an actual eyeball there sometimes. An electronic scanner isn't going to find that.
I'm pretty sure most us techies have a pretty intuitive understanding of how to methodically build software yet we still see great benefits in breaking down projects into smaller tasks.
My point is the bigger picture often looks easy from the outset but in practice most people do benefit from dividing jobs up into smaller tasks or quadrants and focusing on each of those individually.
This whole business of dividing rooms into quadrants smells awfully lot like usual content marketing non-informative filler.
The origin of the "divide and conquer" idea, the "divide and rule", is also about non-linear effects. At least two can be named here: thresholding (ensure your opponents into groups small enough you can take any individual on directly), and Metcalfe's law (effect of a group grows with the square of number of fully-involved participants).
But can it be, really? Usually one of the two goals suffers badly.
The top 50% of this article reads like low-effort content marketing cookie-cutter nonsense, and I almost stop reading there. It got somewhat interesting towards the other half, true, but someone interested in informing people instead of pushing their product (and the need for their products) could easily shorten this article by 50+%.
This is interesting. Is that red filter-looking thing part of the mechanism for detecting lenses?
To detect the reflection from the sensor in the case of a real lensless pinhole camera you would have to be on the line perpendicular to the sensor through the hole, else the reflecting ray would not return through the pinhole.
If someone knows more about the supposed systems that actually detect fluorescence or the antireflective coating spectrum of the light sensor itself please please reply!
this immediately makes the setup less usefull for surveillance cameras as they will typically not be optimized for color fidelity, but for light sensitivity, so without IR filter...
Nevertheless I would still be interested in more details or the exact mechanism or references...
However it wouldn't detect those same night-vision cameras, since they are most often just standard webcam guts with that IR filter omitted as you say.. I really think this thing is just what it says--a lens detector, which catches specular glints off the glass lens and doesn't have much to do with the actual CCD or CMOS or whatever sensor is underneath. It could definitely be making use of the IR filter on most cameras to make those shine particularly bright.
I'm not sure how the cinema version works though, or might the IR filter be a dielectric high-pass filter (similar to how anti-reflective coatings work), passing red but reflecting near IR?
Optically in the near IR that would be equivalent to a mirror between sensor and lense, for simplicity lets pretend the filter is nearly in the same plane as the sensor in the focal plane, then parallel rays focused at infinity would converge to a point on the mirror, which means the light should retroreflect, but the intensity of retroreflection should be highest at the optical axis, and quickly fall off away rom the axis... that makes for 4 DOF to "scan" direction to aim the beam of light, and 2-dimensional position with respect to aperture... so you need to be either lucky or have a very good idea of typical orientation and position of the camera, which would also explain the usage in cinema's you know the orientation of the camera so now only 2d of freedomm left...
I'll say! That's really cool. Thanks for explaining how it works.
Probably way crappier, but for what these electronics entail the one sold by the website in the post is vastly overpriced. It's a very simple radio, a battery, some LEDs, and an optical filter of some kind. Likely just a red gel. Plus, how great of a bug detector do most people really need? The main features are all there and it's probably workable in most cases.
Disclaimer, I don't own this. It could be a mega-turd, don't buy it on my account.
The crowd here could probably build one of these out of whatever's in the junk drawer. Looks like it's the RX half of a cheap analogue walkie-talkie and some flashing lights. That's it. Two hundred bucks is egregious. Maybe if you were an actual LEO or a private eye, but for most people it makes absolutely no sense to buy the $200 version without first seeing if the $10 version does the job.
Well this is certainly subjective and dependent on multiple factors. It may very well be that you could get a similar device for $10-$20 or scrap one together for as much, but its probably not going to come with a good warranty or much reassurance of it's actual performance. And also, just as the crowd here is more likely to be able to build one, the crowd here is also more likely to be able to drop $200 on something if they want it.
Use cases matter. Someone worried about voyeurs should think like voyeurs. They're driven by impulse and most of the time are probably not going to be super organized or resourceful. There's no need to waste your money on RF detectors or camera lens detectors if you are dealing with the kind of hidden surveillance equipment you'd see on Amazon; it's not that sneaky and you can just examine objects like clocks, smoke alarms, door hooks, and phone chargers for obvious cameras. These kind of surveillance devices are really only hidden to people who aren't looking for them.
OTOH if it matters enough to want a camera lens or RF detector I'd definitely at least want a good piece of tool. Doesn't have to be the one in the article, but it'd certainly be worth considering. This is especially true in cases of potential corporate espionage and other situations of similar importance.
Not at all saying there isn't a market for a cheaper device or a DIY replacement, but to be honest I think a lot of people are better off with buying nothing, if you ask me.
Went to check all mirrors at home, and placed my fingertip on them. In all, the reflection of my finger touches my finger.
I'm gonna need to have a serious conversation with my wife now.
Gap should be twice the glass thickness because the light travels the distance twice.
Presumably some cameras depend on flash storage rather than Internet connection but many cameras do use Internet connection to function?
Most major banks in Sweden had http landing pages and did not use HSTS last time I checked (in 2017).
The only issue with random access points when using properly secured connections is the metadata leak - DNS queries, etc. They will now whom you are connecting to, basically. That's it.
My threat model would be the host trying to blackmail me and/or get their kicks from watching me.
A corporate or national actor isn't part of this model, because:
- I'm a low-priority target
- Prevent highly sophisticated attacks borders on impossible/maddening
- The likelihood of the creep is probably 10,000x more
I'm not sure unplugging the router would help, but I probably wouldn't find it very inconvenient either (depending on location).
Overall it's probably worth a quick try to locate and unplug it - if you can't find it, hedge your bets and try some other opsec techniques. Just my own approach.
If one of the wifi presences discovered by your phone disappears thereafter, then the router you blocked was live and very unlikely to be a decoy. (I can't believe most casual spies would install a live decoy router in the room.)
Since all of the spy devices in the room almost certainly operate via that wifi router, disabling or blocking it is probably the most effective single act you can do to disable all of the room's surveillance devices.
How do you know that one of the remaining WiFi networks that you can detect (after unplugging the visible one) isn't providing connectivity for surveillance devices? I can't think of any easy way to do this. There could be a surveillance server+router in a crawl space or an attic, but you have to find it.
Better to treat whatever you say and do in the AirBnB apartment as compromised, if you are inclined to worry about this.
I'm not actually that curious to hear what 'compromised' implies in the typical AirBnB surveillance scenario. Is it just the possibility of creepy observation, or identity theft, blackmail, worse?
It's easy to come up with potential horror stories. The higher the stakes, the more incentive for the surveillance to be undetectable (where detectability would impair the attack).
9,70 MB / 7,93 MB transferred;
many 100+ and 500+KB images, two over 1MB; one 800KB (minimised!) stylesheet.
Pretty crazy. Took over 1 minute to load on my 2Mb/s connection.
 - https://github.com/JulianOliver/dropkick.sh
Tl;dr AirBNB ruled that a host's photo with an easily-glanced-over single camera tucked in a corner was sufficient evidence and documentation of the fact that they had multiple cameras inside - i.e. that the guest should've been aware that there was no expectation of privacy.
The article mentioned unplugging said equipment, other comments mentioned guests having found cameras in alarm clocks in AirBnBs, etc.
How is it they recommend unplugging the cameras, if they say seeing one camera is the same as acknowledging there are other hidden ones?
How do you unplug that which you cannot see?!
Back in my high school days, looping two Ethernet ports with a patchcord was a trick you could use to take down the entire school network. I was under impression that modern hardware has safeguards against that, though.
I could see this being a thing in Airbnb though unfortunately.
Govt buildings have lens detectors.
And I'd hope high value targets teams do too
Care to explain? If I point a camera at my local Fed building while walking on the nearby sidewalk, are you telling me that's detected somewhere?
"Damnit that guy is making this alarm go off non-stop, Dave, go get him to move along"
I remember this article as the first time I learned that photo-taking can actually be detected. Given that it was written in 2009, I imagine that the general camera-detecting technology has been mostly figured out by now.
If the detection is not ideal, it could detect eyeglasses and shoot light into people's eyes
Color me skeptical. Does it detect the lens in the eye too? And then? Does it obliterate my retina when I look at his yacht?
I can also pick up 802.11* bugs too with standard wireless hacking toolset that we're all familiar with.
I can't pick up video with it (5.8GHz FPV modules), but that shouldn't be too hard to add at a later date.
I also can't pick up "record to SD" style of bugs. There's nothing to pick up radio widse, and their tempest emissions are too miniscule to detect.
For people using AirBnB -- the best you can hope for is your pictures don't end up on a fetish site.
On android i use Ultimate EMF Detector PRO and Hidden Camera(PRO version). These should help you to detect electro magnetic field emanating from devices and infrared camera. Be very careful while selecting the app since there are lot of similar apps in the market from shady looking companies.
If you look at the picture
You see the difference between glas two way and standard mirror. That was recommended for a long time as a tip for girls to figure out if they have to worry about a cam being behind a mirror.
That however is not sufficient, which gets you from trying to detect a cam to taking precautions as if there are cams you just havent found yet.
"if you are saying that the pretty girls cover the mirror to detect two way mirrors, that is not the reason they cover the mirror for."
Thus my question. If it's not to cover up a two way mirror, then what ?
If this was true, please mind, BaoAn district that belongs to Shenzhen (and where you cannot find a single male boy among thousands of pretty girls if you go to try to get a table at a cheap worker's restaurant at lunch time in a big factory's gate), and every other labor-intense manufacturing hub all over Asia would be Sex capitals, what is not true. The district of BaoAn, in the border between Dongguan and Shenzhen, actually geographically located much more close to Dongguan, but belongs to Shenzhen, and because it belongs to Shenzhen, and not to Dongguan, Sex business is "forbidden", or at least nowhere as freely allowed as Dongguan(was), you can't compare. What get us to the reason a city becomes a Sex Capital in a country where prostitution is forbidden by the law(!)
The reason is that the Gov of that country thinks prostitution is a necessary evil that helps to prevent violence and rape and other things, so this Gov indicates a place where this can happen, for the sake of Society's Harmony(SheHuiHeXie). Almost Every city in China has a street, a neighbourhood, or an area where the Police pretends to crack but let it happen, at least until people start to abuse the relative freedom, because humans cannot have nice things without abusing it, then they will indicate another place to start from scratch.
:adding some historical context: It is said that when the Old Wise Man, and this was a Wise one, mind you, Lao Deng (Old deng Xiao Pin) Decide that the few thousand people small fisher's village named Shenzhen was meant to become the 10 million people's Heart of Pearl River's Delta(the biggest Industrial Manufacturing Hub Ever built by hummanity, probably) Lao Deng decided to aloow the creation of what was called back then ErNaiLou( in a literal translation word by word: Second Milk Building(not clear)), but this was a building full of small rooms for the factory workers to get SocietyHarmonized( In the good meaning of this verb, it has a bad meaning too, related to execution of death penalty)
I'm sorry, but how does this help?
They are very hard to spot. you have to inspect the area of concern for tack holes or raised features in the wallpaper.
As far as price is concerned, there is a fair bit of profit that will be realized short term from the disgusting type of porn that could be generated. Im sure there is some gaurded position regarding sales of these devices, if not there should be.