Friday, November 19, 2021

Hidden Spy Camera Detection Using Smartphones with Sony iToF Sensor

National University of Singapore and Korea Yonsei University present an ACM paper "LAPD: Hidden Spy Camera Detection using Smartphone Time-of-Flight Sensors" by Sriram Sami, Sean Rui Xiang Tan, Bangjie Sun, and Jun Han and a poster "On Utilizing Smartphone Time-of-Flight Sensors to Detect Hidden Spy Cameras" by the same authors. The detection was tested on  Samsung Galaxy S20+, S20 Ultra 5G, and Note 10+ containing VGA Sony IMX516 iToF sensor. Although the sensor has VGA resolution, the current Android API only provides a 240 × 320 image.

"Tiny hidden spy cameras concealed in sensitive locations including hotels and bathrooms are becoming a significant threat worldwide. These hidden cameras are easily purchasable and are extremely difficult to find with the naked eye due to their small form factor. The state-of-the-art solutions that aim to detect these cameras are limited as they require specialized equipment and yield low detection rates. Recent academic works propose to analyze the wireless traffic that hidden cameras generate. These proposals, however, are also limited because they assume wireless video streaming, while only being able to detect the presence of the hidden cameras, and not their locations. To overcome these limitations, we present LAPD, a novel hidden camera detection and localization system that leverages the time-of-flight (ToF) sensor on commodity smartphones. We implement LAPD as a smartphone app that emits laser signals from the ToF sensor, and use computer vision and machine learning techniques to locate the unique reflections from hidden cameras. We evaluate LAPD through comprehensive real-world experiments by recruiting 379 participants and observe that LAPD achieves an 88.9% hidden camera detection rate, while using just the naked eye yields only a 46.0% hidden camera detection rate."

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