Sniping Security Cameras


A entry with the following disclaimer caught our eye (and not necessarily because of the grammar):

If you keep reading you’ll be agreeing not to use the knowledge you may gain to any unlawfull (sic) behavior but for educational usage only.

The project tries to solve the conundrums surrounding “how to remotely disable security cameras nondestructively from quite a distance.”

The author frames his motivation thusly:

“A lot of my inspiration comes from movies and for quite some time I have become more and more annoyed by Hollywoods sometimes rather silly solutions for an agent to shut down security cameras in order to remain undetected: E.g. blowing up the nearby power-plant or rigging up gadgets in sewers, where they can be detected by renovation workers and the sorts. If you blow something up or otherwise break it, your counterpart will immediately know it is sabotage and rule out a simple technical malfunction.

“Another thing that got me to write this article is the abundant usage of surveillance cameras everywhere which makes me want to burst the bubble about security of surveillance cameras by exposing their weakness.”

And here’s a summary of how he’d use a scope, a laser, and a cellphone to blind surveillance cameras:

“I had some serious thoughts about how to trigger the laser on and off. First, I thought Id use an old wrist watch as a timer, but ended up discarding that idea . . . It just didnt feel right and if the ‘agent’ had to shut down several security cameras, he would not only have to synchronize all the watches and set them up to turn the lasers on at the exact right time at once, but also turn them off after the job. My second idea was to remotely trigger the laser by radio or walkie-talkie. This would give the agent the possibility of e.g. pressing the call button on the walkie which would send out a beep to activate the lasers needed.

“The problem with this solution is that by using a standard walkie, everybody else could activate the lasers accidently if they where using the same channel (keep in mind that almost all baby-alarms use the standard walkie-talkie frequency). So unless I were to use pro walkie with encryption, Id have to modify my plans a bit.
In the search for a transmitter/receiver solution that both had range and some sort of signal coding, it hit me: cellphones. But how well will this actually work?

“Well, after I build this, I had to try it out on an old security camera . . . Then I had some friends sending it a test-SMS and finally I had someone I knew across the Atlantic do it as well . . . No problem there, either. It worked like a charm.”

So if you use this “knowledge” and it doesn’t work? All part of his plan:

“In case youve missed the huge warning sign Ive put up or choose to disregard it and are thinking about using the knowledge youve just gained to be messing with something you shouldnt . . . Think about this: Maybe I left some minor, but crucial details out so assholes wont be messing with something they shouldnt be messing with . . . without getting their asses busted. So dont!!!”

Damn right . . . uh, what?

(Gouge: CM)


  • C

    your “what” is the security and anti-security community working to exploit and expose vulnerabilities in “security” endeavors so that they can:
    A) increase awareness and thusly cause an improvement in the systems
    2: gain l33t h4XX0r status
    III. get to play james bond but “irl”

  • C-Low

    No offense but wouldn’t a .22 short do the same thing for around 2cents or so say a buck if you can’t shoot straight or if they are hard cased? Whats the difference between both camera going dead or both cameras going blind? Think anyone with half a brain monitoring those cameras (if not the norm of a VCR or digital cache) that see them both go smudge at the same time would be worried any less than black?

  • Assbestos

    I think the intention would be to leave the device undamaged so that you could then leave without security having known they had been compromised. BTW this stuff was actually on a couple of larger tech sites, and they didn’t attempt censor the implementation details, or imply that they had secret knowledge of proper application. This isn’t rocket science.

  • Marcello

    Well, hackers don’t usually need a (not even remotely plausible) reason to do things, they do things just for the sake of understanding how to do them. Sometimes this leads to amazing discoveries and sometimes it leads to “uh? what?” moments ;)
    The difference between blinding a CCTV camera and destroying it is that, well, temporarily blinding a camera probably isn’t illegal while destroying it quite surely is. And even if blinding is illegal, going around and shooting at cameras with a gun isn’t exactly a subtle operation.
    On a more James Bond-ish side, shooting with a rifle leaves bullets, bullets are evidence plus different lasers could be triggered remotely while the gun would be much more complicated to trigger.

  • campbell

    sorry to burst your bubble guys……the box with the glass is for show…..the REAL camera is in some tiny little unseen spot. Your’re trying to avoid/damage last years’ tech, and hollywood play conception of security…..

  • claymore

    Wonderful just freaking wonderful just what the world needs another bunch of Geeks posting security information on the net “just because they can”. What good did this information pass on to the members …… other than your showing off that you could do it while at the same time passing on security information dubious or not to the bad guys that also search the net just for this kind of information. Why make it easy for them What is this site becoming

  • James Baudier

    It seems to me any computer guru should be able to have the systems notify security when and if a camera becomes blind. The camera status should also be saved for some pre-determined length of time.

  • dw

    I maybe a dinosaur in the sec. biz, and most of it doing “EP” work, but wouldnt you get “seen” planting your (think kind thoughts, dont call it retarded.)”device”…Oh yeah, I forgot, all security personnel are sound asleep, right? Maybe you could tell us how to “secret squirrel” a mirror in the line of those invisible (yet detectable) laser beams? (shh, don’t tell him that’ll trigger them..rofl!)
    If you want some real advice? Why don’t you ask a real “security expert” who will (thats it, i can’t take it anymore) “bitch slap your silly ass”!

  • j house

    The hard-wired, closed circuit systems are less vulnerable to a remote attack, but the signal on the wire is in most cases, unencrypted. Lacking any intrusion detection on that network, it can be done with a physical tap.
    Wireless cameras with IP stacks can be compromised remotely, given enough time and the right tools.
    One would be a fool to rely on security cameras only.It must be just one part of a multi-layer security plan.

  • Guest

    Ah..but to get to that physical tap….NOW that is the question. LOL

  • Opensource the future, spread the knowledge, what happens when you add competition to anything? You create a greater awareness and motivation to improve upon a broken concept, or a concept with flaws. Don’t hinder the progress of humanity for the sake of a few dollars. If anyone can bypass a system with creative curiosity, then it was broken from the start, and needed to be repaired, thrust out into the opensource world to be talked about and build on.

    To borrow from Deltron: ” Scratch your I.D. chips off, cause everybody owns em…”