Can use a standard incandescent light to intercept calls at a distance of 25 meters.
As if it wasn’t bad enough that the email, computer and mobile are vulnerable to hackers. Now, apparently, you can’t even rely on ordinary, unsmart, incandescent light bulbs.
For now, a group of security researchers at Ben-Gurion’s University of Negev in Israel have listed how they can use these to intercept a conversation at a distance of 25 meters. One method they call “Lamphone“, Forbes reports.
The eavesdropping requires no malicious software or connected system, but is carried out by directing a telescope equipped with an electro-optical sensor to a lamp.
The sound of a call then creates shifts in the air pressure on the bulb’s surface and causes it to vibrate. The vibration data is then converted and run through an algorithm that essentially turns the light bulb into a microphone.
The researchers then used Google Cloud Speech to transcribe the conversation and were also able to identify music heard using Shazam and Soudhound.
However, in order to carry out the interception, a free field of view is required between the light bulb and the telescope. So a lampshade is enough for the method to not work. The incandescent lamp must also have a specific thickness on the glass and may only emit a certain amount of light.