Hackers Develop a New Way of Spying Using Light Bulb


A recent study carried out by researchers at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel indicates that hackers can now hear your conversations from a distance of 25 meters using a light bulb.

Hackers Develop a New Way of Spying Using Light Bulb

The near science fictional method is called Lamphone and needs a remote electro-optical sensor that examines the fluctuations in the light bulb’s frequency response to sound waves. The optical sensor can be centred on a light bulb with the help of a telescope.

The electro-optical sensor examines the subtle vibrations on the surface of the light bulb that is operated through specifically developed algorithms to separate an audio signal from an optical signal. After that, the output can be then transferred to a voice-to-text application such as Google Speech to translate it. Besides, the range of Lamphone mainly depends on the telescope used.

The study states, “Lamphone recovers sound optically via an electro-optical sensor which is directed at a hanging bulb.” However, for correct transcription, there are some essential measures which must be taken. First, is that the bulb has to be hanging from the ceiling while the other measure involves the sensor which must be in the clear vision of the bulb.

The researchers suggest that this process operates equally well with singing. Applications such as Shazam and SoundHound were able to identify songs being played from a distance of 25 meters using the method.