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Researchers from the cyber security Labs at the University of Ben-Gurion and the Scientific Institute Weizmann invented a new way of listening spaces, even over long distances using cheap equipment.
Currently, there are many ways to spy on what is happening in remote areas, sites and buildings. Phones, computers, cameras and even a laser monitoring system can be used for interception of private conversations without the knowledge of the target. But they all for the most part, require expensive equipment, and “roundabout” way are often unreliable, so they are easy to detect.
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Engineers approached the problem in new ways, providing the public Lamphone. This device is effective over great distances and requires only a visual contact with the room, which will be watching — especially important light. Lamphone equipment includes a laptop for signal processing, telescope to provide a detailed overview of the room at a distance of hundreds of meters, and electro-optical sensor that converts light into an electrical signal.
If you are in a room equipped with a hanging lamp, every casual touch will lead to a change in room lighting, as the bulb will wiggle from side to side. It is at such light signals and responsive instrument, but its sensitivity allows you to capture even the vibrations imperceptible to the human eye. When the sound waves generated by the people in the room, get on the hanging lamp, they can also make it oscillate, but at an infinitely small amplitude. People won’t notice, but the detector — easily.
In the experiment using three different telescopes with different diameters of the lens at a distance of 25 meters, the researchers were able to successfully capture the sound in the remote room. They failed to recognize the Beatles song “Let It Be”, and the speech of the President of the trump — and the sound was so clear, that he was able to receive and decode applications such as Shazam. The researchers believe that thanks to more powerful telescopes and more sensitive analog-to-digital Converter distance listening can be even more. It should be noted that in the present configuration, the device’s cost is lower than $1,000 — a very modest figure in the market of special equipment.
At the same time, it is unclear how this method is effective in the case of lamps, fixed on the ceiling, for example in the case of fluorescent lamps. So if you have concerns about the fact that you can listen to for a while refrain from artificial light sources, and maybe you will be able to keep confidential information.
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