Home Cyber Security News LAPD – A New Method To Detect Spy Cameras Via Smartphone

LAPD – A New Method To Detect Spy Cameras Via Smartphone

by Abeerah Hashim
smartphone to detect spy cameras

A team of researchers has developed an effective strategy to detect spy cameras using a smartphone. Dubbed LAPD, this new method addresses the limitations of most other solutions existing today.

Using Smartphone To Detect Hidden Cameras via LAPD Technique

Researchers from the National University of Singapore, Singapore, and Yonsei Univerity, South Korea, have revealed how a smartphone can spot hidden spy cameras. All it takes is downloading an app on the phone, which uses its time-of-flight (ToF) sensors to spot the cameras.

The researchers explained that most contemporary smartphones encase time-of-flight sensors to measure depth virtually. These sensors aid augmented reality-based experiences such as gaming.

So, the researchers proposed using this sensor to detect the reflections from camera surfaces hidden in various objects. They have termed this methodology “LAPD” (LaserAssisted Photography Detection). Users can download the LAPD app on their phones to detect cameras in suspected regions. Then, a simple scan of the suspected objects will let the users know about the presence of hidden cameras.

Most hidden cameras today exhibit small, difficult-to-detect form factors, especially those that just rely on a memory card for video storage with no live streaming. Hence, researchers believe that LAPD can prove helpful as it addresses the limitations of previous methodologies that typically rely on the traffic generated from the cameras.

In their study, the researchers tested the app in real-world setups involving 379 participants. They achieved better camera detection via LAPD at the rate of 88.9% compared to the 46% detection rate via the naked eye.

How LAPD works

Describing how it works, the researchers stated,

Specifically, the hidden camera embedded in the object reflects the incoming laser pulses at a higher intensity than its surroundings due to an effect called lens-sensor retro-reflection. This occurs when almost all light energy impacting an object is reflected directly back to the source. These unexpectedly high-intensity reflections from hidden cameras cause certain regions of the ToF sensor to be “saturated” and appear as black pixels. LAPD processes these saturated areas to automatically identify the hidden camera and its location and displays it on the user’s smartphone screen.

The following video demonstrates LAPD in action.

Present Limitations

While LAPD can effectively detect hidden cameras, the method also has some limitations. The most significant limitation is the reliance on ToF sensors. So, any smartphones lacking this particular sensor will not be able to use LAPD.

Similarly, limitations also exist in the LAPD result rendering that depends on the accuracy of the underlying 3D localization system.

Interested users can read more about this study in the research paper the team has shared.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Latest Hacking News

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

The __cfduid cookie is used to identify individual clients behind a shared IP address and apply security settings on a per-client basis.

cookie_notice_accepted and gdpr[allowed_cookies] are used to identify the choices made from the user regarding cookie consent.

For example, if a visitor is in a coffee shop where there may be several infected machines, but the specific visitor's machine is trusted (for example, because they completed a challenge within your Challenge Passage period), the cookie allows Cloudflare to identify that client and not challenge them again. It does not correspond to any user ID in your web application, and does not store any personally identifiable information.

__cfduid, cookie_notice_accepted, gdpr[allowed_cookies]

Advertising

DoubleClick by Google refers to the DoubleClick Digital Marketing platform which is a separate division within Google. This is Google’s most advanced advertising tools set, which includes five interconnected platform components.

DoubleClick Campaign Manager: the ad-serving platform, called an Ad Server, that delivers ads to your customers and measures all online advertising, even across screens and channels.

DoubleClick Bid Manager – the programmatic bidding platform for bidding on high-quality ad inventory from more than 47 ad marketplaces including Google Display Network.

DoubleClick Ad Exchange: the world’s largest ad marketplace for purchasing display, video, mobile, Search and even Facebook inventory.

DoubleClick Search: is more powerful than AdWords and used for purchasing search ads across Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

DoubleClick Creative Solutions: for designing, delivering and measuring rich media (video) ads, interactive and expandable ads.

doubleclick

Analytics

The _ga is asssociated with Google Universal Analytics - which is a significant update to Google's more commonly used analytics service. This cookie is used to distinguish unique users by assigning a randomly generated number as a client identifier. It is included in each page request in a site and used to calculate visitor, session and campaign data for the sites analytics reports. By default it is set to expire after 2 years, although this is customisable by website owners.

The _gat global object is used to create and retrieve tracker objects, from which all other methods are invoked. Therefore the methods in this list should be run only off a tracker object created using the _gat global variable. All other methods should be called using the _gaq global object for asynchronous tracking.

_gid works as a user navigates between web pages, they can use the gtag.js tagging library to record information about the page the user has seen (for example, the page's URL) in Google Analytics. The gtag.js tagging library uses HTTP Cookies to "remember" the user's previous interactions with the web pages.

_ga, _gat, _gid