The OpticSpy modules provide a platform to explore, evaluate, and experiment with optical data transmissions. They capture, amplify, and convert optical signals into digital form that can be analyzed or decoded with a computer.
With OpticSpy, electronics hobbyists and hardware hackers can search for covert channels existing on modern devices, add optical data transfer functionality to a project, or capture and decode signals from remote controls and other consumer electronics that intentionally send information through light waves.
Uses & Application Ideas
- Search for optical covert channels that may exist in modern devices
- Add data exfiltration/transfer functionality into a project
- Capture/decode/demodulate IR signals from remote controls
- Discover Li-Fi networks or Visible Light Communication (VLC) systems
Features & Specifications
- Easily converts light transmissions into digital signals
- Gain and threshold adjustment via potentiometers for fine-tuning of a particular target
- Supports both visible and near IR light emissions
- On-board switch to select normal or inverted polarity data streams
- USB interface for direct connection to host computer
OpticSpy is powered from the host computer’s USB port and uses an FTDI FT231X USB-to-Serial IC to provide the USB connectivity (drivers available directly from FTDI). When connected to a computer, OpticSpy will appear as a Virtual COM port and will have a COM port number automatically assigned to it. You can then use a terminal program (such as HyperTerminal, PuTTY, CoolTerm, minicom, or screen) to communicate with OpticSpy. Communication settings will vary depending on the type of optical transmission and encoding/modulation used.
In the event that the device sending optical data is using a different encoding or modulation scheme not supported by a standard terminal program, you can preempt the FT231X interface by connecting a logic analyzer, Arduino, or any other tool capable of processing raw digital signals to the OpticSpy’s TP5 (Comparator Output) test point.