Remote laser security camera defeat


[John] sent in this cell phone activated rifle scope laser security camera blinder. The phone plays a tone when it receives a SMS message. The sound activates an audio controlled relay. (Not elegant, but it works) which powers a laser that’s been mounted to a rifle scope. The scope is used to align the laser with the target lens – on activation it’s supposed to blind the camera. Looks like a fun hack, even if the uses are a bit nefarious. (He left out a little detail that’ll make or break the project to keep things on the level, but it’s not that hard to figure out.)

Comments

  1. Lambda_drive says:

    There’s no link to the hack.

  2. SU-w/reb_w/root says:

    “If you keep reading you’ll be agreeing not to use the knowledge you may gain to any unlawful behavior, but for educational usage only. C-h-a-o-s.com is not responsible for any broken items or limbs
    You know the Drill. BEHAVE”

    ahahahahah

    Sure man, I’m just going to the bank for a bit; after soldering some stuff xD

  3. MoJo says:

    This won’t work.

    There was an investigation into blinding CCTV cameras with lasers on TV a few years ago. The problem is that the laser only blinds one colour, usually red. If you take the CCTV image and stip the red colour info (leaving just green and blue) you get an almost perfect picture again. Not sure how it affects B&W cameras.

  4. Madouc says:

    @SU-w/reb_w/root
    just be sure to bring your face-covering-tingie ;), because with some cams it doesn’t seem to work.

  5. TheKhakinator says:

    What exactly are these crucial details? I don’t follow…

  6. Wolf says:

    It’d be more interesting if he got a camera and actually tested it, whose to say it would even blind a well made security camera…

    And, even if it could, it would probably have to be within its field of view (so as to strike the ccd, and throw off the white balance) which would obviously lead to its discovery (unless it was REALLY well hidden) and thus, would leave more evidence than some B/W video of a guy in a mask would’ve in the first place.

    To #5, probably the laser/scope calibration.

  7. mike says:

    if you did anything significantly illegal with it, wouldnt the first thing the FBI or detectives do is look at the CELL PHONE records for the nearest devices at the exact time of the ‘incident’ ?

  8. dioxide says:

    mojo is correct, and i expect that’s the missing piece of crucial information. if you do this thinkin you wont be caught on video, you’re in for a nasty surprise.

    i wonder if you could do something similar with a well focused incandescent or something along those lines, just how bright does it need to be to make the cam useless?

  9. lonas says:

    @mojo

    what if you used red blue and green lasers then?

  10. Wolf says:

    to #10

    then you might as well just take the 10k that the 5 or so blue lasers would cost and pay someone to rob the place for you.

  11. Unbelievr says:

    Simply replace the laser with IR, will work better at night, but would blind the camera.

  12. Justathought says:

    They do make IR lasers however, they tend to weaken badly by distance.

  13. Hockeytree says:

    Since when has IR ever blinded cameras? The only way that would work is if it was a IR camera itself.

    Think of it this way, all day all things are bombarding all things with a very low energy light partially made by heat. So basically that means the camera should be blinded all the time.

    The only way to make this work is a huge light source possibly a mix of ultraviolet and purple. (very high energy) that would cause Problems with the auto focus.

    Of course a guys gonna go check that anyway, so why not just shoot it with a paintball gun.

  14. bobtheferret says:

    it might work… while it would only blind one color, I believe modern VCRs and high-quality cameras adjust the brightness/exposure of the entire picture, all color ranges included, to adjust for bad-quality or noisy inputs.

    I think this is called ‘automatic gain control’. In this case, cheap CCTV (like what you’d see in a TV investigation) would do better than expensive stuff, because cheap CCTV might not have it.

  15. Seems to me if you’re going to all this trouble to align the laser in advance, call the cell phone, activate the laser to blind the camera just to walk past it — but then you need to spend a fortune on blue lasers and a bit on green ones, then find an IR source as well —

    Just attach a paint ball gun to that scope instead. Seems to me a paint ball will absolutely take the camera out in a way that you’d know it worked. Its not like blinding the camera is going to be secret since any secure guard is going to notice the camera going pure-whiteout.

  16. BoB DoLE says:

    why waste the money on a cell and a sensor when you can get alarm clocks for $1

  17. JoE says:

    @Hockeytree

    Digital cameras can see IR light sources. Try pointing a remote control at your digital camera. However, you would need a very powerful source to be able blind a camera.

  18. a.nony.moose says:

    since you already have the rifle scope, add the rifle and shoot out the camera! unless you know the exact camera, laser blinding is 50/50. some dome cameras have a reflective ‘one way’ type of material for just such attacks. the camera can see out but you (or your laser) can’t see in.

  19. Paul says:

    If it did work and it was a professional cctv system it would alarm when the image washes out. Same for the paint balls blacking out the camera.

    Also, a professional job would have at least two camers covering an area and each of those camers would be in eachothers view.

  20. Peter says:

    @17

    a one way reflectiv material wouldn’t make a difference to a laser blinding attack. it stops light getting out so you can’t see the where the camera is poining, but light can still get in for the camera to work. so that means that the laser light can stil get in and (maybe) blind the camer

    but then again, if you can’t see where the camera is pointing, how do you know where to poin the laser?

    and wouldn’t the camera see you setting this up, either catching you in the act, or making sure someone (a security guard) goes to find out what the device is/remove it/steal your mobile phone :)

  21. snorkle256 says:

    I’m interested in this hack not for the remote video blinder but for the awesome mount and laser scope. I’ve been wanting to build one to see if a laser puts out enough light to trick a street lamp into shutting off. Nefarious Halloween plans I have.

  22. ehrichweiss says:

    @Hockeytree: let me put some of this in perspective for you. Take a 1 watt light bulb and look at it. No worries. Now take a 1 watt laser and look at it. No eyes. A laser is concentrated light(to put it simply) and it would be enough to blind most cameras even with their IR filtering.

  23. charc says:

    ir would work, many security cameras are ir cameras as well. to make it a non ir camera, they actually have to insert a filter. and we’re not talking heat here. we’re talking near visible light ir. like the led in your tv remote. an ir laser could very well blind the camera.

  24. Hellblazer112 says:

    #20 To turn off a Streetlight a laser wouldn’t work beacuse although it is concentrated light the dome that covers defuses the light so a laser would be just as effective as asking it to turn off. Now if you could get above it and shine a light on it, thats a whole ‘nother story.

    This is pretty cool but I don’t get what he left out.

  25. tbare says:

    @ Snorkle

    nice! i like that idea better than that security camera one… let me know! :)

  26. doogle says:

    Seems to me that if you were to use a slightly broad-beam (not a laser, or maybe a laser with a special lense– broad beam in order to compensate for oscillating cameras) light, outside of the visible spectrum for the human eye, you might fool the camera into adjusting its contrast until it is too low to make anything else out. This would probably only work with outdoor cameras intended to work at day an night, however, sense it wouldn’t make sense to do that for an indoor camera where light is relatively constant. Then of course there is the issue of motion detectors, which you might set off if you use the same wavelength of light it uses, or by simply forgetting about them and moving under them. To be used in a practical situation, you would probably have to find a target which does not use motion detectors– a common scenario in places where guards or especially guard dogs are in place (which present their own problems, but still manageable).

  27. elbarto says:

    A more in depth exploration of this can be found at http://naimark.net/projects/zap/howto.html (linked from the wikipedia site on CCTV)

    It seems to be somewhat efficient but a far cry from actually blinding the camera. As can be seen on the site, and I did a bit of testing at home and came to the same conclusions, filtering the red spectrum of the image reduces the effect quite a bit but not totally which is a bit surprising since laser light is highly monochromatic, I suppose the CCD and compression add some artifacts that elude the filter (the source of the light looked more yellow than red.)
    This method could probably be used to obscure a portion of the image, such as a face, but could hardly blind a security camera (those are probably better built than your average digital camera/ webcam) completely.

    Maybe this could be improved on by adding a dispersion lens at the laser, since the light is very coherent the lens could be adjusted depending on distance to cover the entire camera lens.

    This seems a bit silly to use against security cameras anyways, I would think a bright red spot on the monitor would catch the securityguards attention.

  28. john says:

    the point isn’t to stop a guard from realizing what is going on. the point is to destroy evidence that might lead to your capture by obscuring your identity.

  29. nathan belomy says:

    omg the cia is going to come and take you hostage! totally weapons of mass destruction.

  30. Bob smith says:

    i say if your gonna bloody steal somthing just f###### grab what you want and go for gods sake F*&^! by the time the bloody laser has the (one coler of the) camera blinded they will have seen you! unless that thing wth the ither two colers worked maybye find a good spot outsid and get it fom there… btw we dont need Goddamn technology taking over our sport. com on! it s all about slite of hand i happen to have it to a pretty good art (not after triel and error) ;)

    so if it works great other ill stick with my method

    you know those security thigs by the door? we need like a jammer for those dont work for a while am not good with electronics but freind sent me here, mabi its bullshit and i dont need one

  31. Kilroy says:

    I can’t say whether this will work or not, but almost nobody uses IR cameras. They use IR sensors. And these IR sensors are tuned to a specific size and heat, and possibly height above ground, so if you wear an emergency “space blanket” blanket around you, or take a dip in a pond wearing some water absorbing clothes, you may pull it off, but then remember to cover your top body and head. These sensors are set for weight of the animal, 20-35 kg or 5-15 kg, or other, but places with more than a few thousand dollars cash may have sensors tuned to go off on even a rat, so the best way to avoid it is to recon openly and break in through the roof and walls.

    but I recommend going the path of least resistance and be a smalltime crook instead, that will save your ass from prison-gayness in the long run.

  32. DAVE says:

    CAN SOMEONE TELL ME HOW TO KNOCK VIDEO SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS OUT OF COMMISION AT THE WORKPLACE EVEN FOR THE COMPUTER DUMB

  33. david says:

    this is a cool idea, but i would just sneak by behind a fat guy. then, when they check the footage they blame the fat guy. lol

  34. Blog?

  35. Javier says:

    link broken :(
    another link??

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