A team of researchers at Carnegie Mellon University has created a system that allows people to be seen through the walls of a house, thanks to WiFi router signals. Find out how it works, and what the privacy risks are…
How would you react if you found out that hackers can see through walls of your home? Unfortunately, this may already be the case.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have discovered a method for detect body shapes and movements human bodies in a room, simply by using WiFi routers.
They exploited the DensePose systemsystem, which maps all the pixels on the surface of a human body in a photo. This tool was developed by Facebook’s AI researchers.
Based on this system, the Carnegie Mellon team has developed an artificial neural network capable of mapping the phase and amplitude of WiFi signals sent and received by routers, in order to coordinate them with human bodies.
According to these researchers, WiFi signals could ” serve as a ubiquitous substitute “for conventional RGB cameras to perceive people in a room. The AI model is capable of estimating the position of multiple objects with performance comparable to image-based approaches.
According to them, the use of WiFi allows to overcome obstacles posing problems for conventional camera lenses, such as poor illumination or occlusion.
The fruit of years of research
For many years, researchers have been trying to “see” people through walls using cameras or LiDAR equipment. In 2013, a team of MIT researchers succeeded in doing just that, using cell phone signals.
Then, in 2018, another MIT team managed to detect people in another room using WiFi. They were then able to transcribe their movements on virtual wire characters.
A “step forward for privacy”?
The researchers present their findings as a step forward for the right to privacy. According to them, this technology could be used to monitor the well-being of the elderlyor to identify “suspicious behavior” in the home.
However, no details are given on the type of behavior concerned. It could be detecting the presence of burglars in a house…
These scientists are optimistic, but we can also fear that such technology could fall into the wrong hands and be misused for malicious purposes.
Clearly, cybercriminals could use this to check whether a house is occupied before entering. Similarly paparazzi could spy on your every move. of celebrities while they’re at home.
This innovation shows that the walls of your property are just an illusory boundary, so think twice before walking around your living room in your bathrobe…