Lamphone attack lets threat actors recover conversations from your light bulb

lamphone-1.png

In a research paper published this week, academics detailed a novel method of recovering conversations and audio recordings by observing vibrations in a light bulb.

The technique, which they named Lamphone, revolves around the principle that objects vibrate when soundwave hits their surface.

When this happens in a light bulb, academics say the vibrations also create small flickers in light emissions. They say that by using powerful sensors, they can record the light variations and reverse-engineer the sound waves that hit the light bulb’s surface.

But like any novel surveillance technique, Lamphone has its advantages and limitations.

The most obvious is that attackers need a direct line of sight to the light bulb in a room or public space. Light bulbs protected by decorative covers or other constructs are safe from this attack, and so are conversations that take place in rooms without windows.

However, once a line of sight to a light bulb is available, academics say an attacker can use tools like a telescope and an electro-optical sensor to record light variations in the light bulb from large distances and don’t necessarily have to be close to their targets.

In experiments they carried out for their paper, they said they successfully recovered sound and conversations from 25 meters (82 feet) away.

“This range can be amplified with proper equipment (bigger telescope, 24/32 bit ADC, etc.),” the research team said.

lamphone-2.png

lamphone-2.png

In their experiment, the research team said it was successful in recovering both human speech and room effects — such as music played in the background (see demo below for an example).

[embedded content]

A disadvantage is that conversations need to be loud enough to generate vibrations, or speakers need to be close enough to the light bulb.

However, having the ability to eavesdrop on corner offices from tens of meters away with nothing but a telescope and a video recorder is a huge feat, and a dangerous scenario for many companies.

But Lamphone is not the first attack of its kind. Other techniques have been explored in the past, such as Gyrophone (using mobile device sensors to recover speech from gyroscope signals) and Visual Microphone (using video recordings to recover passive sound).

Nonetheless, the research team says Lamphone has an advantage over these attacks because it’s passive and doesn’t require infecting a victim’s device with malware (unlike Gyrophone) and works in real-time and doesn’t need access to vasts computational resources to process its recorded data (unlike Visual Microphone).

The research team says that all an attacker needs to process Lamphone data is something as simple as a laptop, which, in turn, allows threat actors to use Lamphone to follow conversations in real-time.

A disadvantage is that the attack doesn’t work against all types of light bulbs and that results may vary, depending on the light bulb’s make, model, and technical characteristics, such as its outer glass thickness or light emission capability.

Additional details are available in the research team’s academic paper, entitled “Lamphone: Real-Time Passive Sound Recovery from Light Bulb Vibrations” [PDF]. The research team’s work will be presented in August at the Black Hat security conference.

Academics from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Weizmann Institute of Science have contributed to this work.

About the author

E-Crypto News was developed to assist all cryptocurrency investors in developing profitable cryptocurrency portfolios through the provision of timely and much-needed information. Investments in cryptocurrency require a level of detail, sensitivity, and accuracy that isn’t required in any other market and as such, we’ve developed our databases to help fill in information gaps.

Related Posts

E-Crypto News Executive Interviews



Automated trading with HaasBot Crypto Trading Bots

Crypto Scams

Millions in Cryptocurrency Stolen by Scammers in the Last Month According to Tenable Research
November 24, 2021
Behind The Scenes: How this Crypto Community Responded to + $50m Hack
October 18, 2021
Crypto Scams
Crypto Scams Still Persistent In 2021, SEC Warns About Red Flags To Watch
September 9, 2021
Poly Network
Here’s How Hackers Stole Over $600 million in the Poly Network Attack
August 12, 2021
The World’s Most Infamous Crypto Hacks and Scams
July 31, 2021

Blockchain/Cryptocurrency Questions and Answers

Crypto casinos
How Does Bitcoin Casino Work + 2021 Beginner’s Guide
November 8, 2021
Cryptocurrency
How to Buy and Sell Cryptocurrency
November 8, 2021
What Are Bitcoin Futures And How Will They Work In 2022?
November 4, 2021
Ethereum
The Unconventional Guide to Ethereum
October 28, 2021
ICo Presale
The Science Behind ICO Presales…
October 14, 2021


CryptoCurrencyUSDChange 1hChange 24hChange 7d
Bitcoin53,625 0.76 % 5.65 % 8.95 %
Ethereum4,237.8 0.26 % 6.88 % 6.16 %
Binance Coin594.93 0.84 % 4.68 % 6.77 %
Tether0.9986 0.03 % 0.08 % 0.23 %
Solana214.44 1.81 % 10.05 % 2.21 %
Cardano1.570 0.98 % 8.64 % 6.33 %
XRP0.9286 0.45 % 5.22 % 10.92 %
USD Coin1.000 0.14 % 0.20 % 0.17 %
Polkadot30.87 2.19 % 17.29 % 10.73 %
Dogecoin0.2215 0.68 % 1.42 % 7.23 %

bitcoin
Bitcoin (BTC) $ 53,597.00
ethereum
Ethereum (ETH) $ 4,238.73
binance-coin
Binance Coin (BNB) $ 595.06
tether
Tether (USDT) $ 1.00
solana
Solana (SOL) $ 214.83
cardano
Cardano (ADA) $ 1.57
xrp
XRP (XRP) $ 0.92692
usd-coin
USD Coin (USDC) $ 0.998026
polkadot
Polkadot (DOT) $ 33.85
dogecoin
Dogecoin (DOGE) $ 0.200841