Lamphone: New discussions interception by technical lamp: The lamp visible from the windows, or otherwise «Lamphone», is the new tool interception after « wiretaps » and chakarisma mobile.
Espionage techniques have risen sharply in recent years, with new surveillance methods being added to the list each year.
Researchers at Negev’s Ben-Gurion University and the Weizmann Institute of Science today unveiled a new long-distance eavesdropping technique called Lamphone. They also said that it allows anyone to listen to the sounds of a room, as long as they have a laptop and equipment costing less than $ 1,000, for example, a telescope and an optical-electric sensor $ 400.
The lamphone observes the tiny vibrations caused by the sounds on the glass surface of the lamp. By measuring the very small changes in light caused by these vibrations, our researchers showed that a spy can pick up the sound clearly enough to distinguish conversations or pieces of music.
” Any sound in the room can be retrieved without necessarily violating anything and without devices in the room,” said Ben Nassi, a Ben-Gurion security researcher who developed the technique with Yaron Pirutin and Boris Zadov. They also plan to present their findings on the lamphone at the ” Black Hat ” conference in August.
” You just have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people. »
In their experiments, they placed a series of telescopes, about 80 feet away from the target lamp of an office, and placed the lens of each telescope in front of an optical -electric sensor ” Thorlabs PDA100A2 “. They then used an ” analog-to-digital ” converter to convert the sensor’s electrical signals into digital information. While playing music and recording conversations from the remote room, they downloaded to a laptop the information they recovered via Lamphone, which analyzed the data.
The researchers also found that the vibrations of the lamp from the sounds were recorded as measurable photo changes, which were detected by the sensor through each telescope. After processing the signal through the software that filters the noise, they could rearrange the sound recordings that the lamphone received with significant accuracy.
For example, they showed that they could reproduce an audio speech quote, Donald Trump, as well as to ascertain the « Cloud Speech API » of Google. They also remastered a recording of the Beatles ‘ ” Let it Be “, clear enough for Shazam to recognize immediately.
Certainly, the lamphone technique has some limitations, such as that it is not yet clear whether it is working with a floor lamp or a ceiling light. Also, in the material they used for their tests, the sound was much louder than the average human talk sound. Of course, the team stressed that it used relatively cheap equipment and that it could have upgraded it to experiment with lower-intensity discussions. LED bulbs also offer a signal-to-noise ratio of about 6.3 times that of a simple incandescent bulb, and 70 times that of fluorine.
Regardless of these inaccuracies, the computer scientist and cryptographer of Stanford, Dan Boneh, arguing about whether the technique researchers for lamphone represents a significant, and perhaps practice a new form of attacks « side-channel », attacks that operating sound material.
” It simply came to our notice then. Even if it requires a hanging lamp and high volume, it is still extremely interesting. And this is the first time this has been proven to be possible. Attacks are only getting better, and future research will only make them better. “
The team of researchers, led by Yuval Elovici and BGU ‘s Adi Shamir , co-founder of the RSA encryption system , is not the first to show that unexpected sound effects can lead to interception, such as a lamphone.
For years, researchers have known that if you pass a laser through the window of your target, you will get the sounds inside. Even the gyroscope of an exposed smartphone can collect sounds.
The previous, closer to Lamphone, the technique was from MIT, Adobe, and Microsoft researchers in 2014, called the ” virtual microphone .” The team analyzed videos from telescopes of a vibrating object, such as a plant. So they were able to recover the speeches or excerpts from the music.
However, Nassi emphasizes that this technique requires analysis of the video after its recording, while with the lamphone you have immediate results . Since the lamp is a light source, the sensor can draw vibrations with much simpler visual data. Which makes it much more practical.
” Since you can use it in real-time, you can respond immediately instead of wasting the opportunity. We want to increase vigilance for such attacks. We are not on the side of producing such tools, “Nassi said.
You may find it unlikely that you will be attacked with similar lamphone techniques, but it is best to take precautions. Just cover hanging lamps, or close your curtains to prevent visibility.