Earlier this summer we talked about drones that can be programmed to act as rogue access points sent to break into unprotected wireless networks. Julian Oliver, an artist living in Berlin, created a device designed to prevent these types of attacks from happening. The Cyborg Unplug, an anti wireless-surveillance system, determines whether drones, hidden microphones, Google Glasses and a variety of other objects are spying on you.
As the number of devices out there with sophisticated video and audio capabilities is constantly increasing, the Cyborg Unplug helps people keep their information safe from potential hackers attempting to break into WiFi networks from miles away. How does it work exactly? Simply plug the tiny router into a power outlet (hence the device’s tagline, “Plug to Unplug”) and an alarm will sound whenever a banned surveillance device comes near your home.
The device contains customized firmware designed to sniff for the unique hardware signatures assigned to WiFi devices, looking for the devices the owner has chosen to ban. If a banned device is discovered connecting to a network the Cyborg is trained to guard, a stream of de-authentication packets are sent to disconnect the device. All of this can be done automatically, without any prompting from the owner of the network.
The Cyborg stemmed from a piece of code called Glasshole.sh, which was created by Oliver initially to kick Google Glass devices specifically from wireless networks. It has evolved into a consumer product that can be used for a variety of spy devices that can be disguised as hidden objects.
Oliver notes that the Cyborg’s “All Out Mode’, which prevents banned devices from connecting to ANY WiFi network they are associated with, is likely illegal. The recommended mode is “Territory Mode”, disconnecting devices from selected networks that are owned and operated by the user.
Although the Cyborg, which will be available soon, can prevent remote backups or streaming video of surveillance, it cannot block audio or video that is saved locally to a device. Connecting to WPA2-Enterprise and authenticating via 802.1X ensures all network traffic is safe and secure and prevents intruders from conducting a variety of malicious attacks.