There is a new (or maybe not so new) kind of cybercrime that is gaining momentum in China. We are talking about pinhole cameras in hotels. And what’s more interesting, those cameras are not placed by the hotel staff. Well, there is an interesting “business model” so let’s talk about this in all details.
Pinhole Cameras In Hotels
China is is currently cracking down on all kinds of illegal sneak shooting activities. But as this has grown into a profitable business, there are still criminals who take risks and enter the hotel to install pinhole cameras to sneak photos of guests.
According to the cases that the police have cracked, the cameras used by the criminals have high resolutions. The can be not only hidden in the hotel room, but also they generate nearly a hundred invitation codes. So the criminals sell these codes like coupons.
This type of invitation code is usually sold by installers at a price of 150-200 yuan ($23-31). But in the “grey market”, their prices could increase trifold. It is this kind of excess profit that makes criminals want to take risks and take risks.
However, there are some tricks hotel guests can use to find hidden cameras:
- When the light is dimmed at night, the traditional camera will “turn on” infrared light. After turning off the lights in the room and closing the curtains, if you take a mobile phone, it may have a red dot. The same might work for a camera as well. Its lens will reflect light.
- Guests can use special apps to detect whether there is a camera connect to the WiFi network.
Though these two methods will work in most cases, it doesn’t mean they will find all pinhole cameras.
Since May of this year, the Central Cyberspace Administration, in conjunction with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Public Security, and the State Administration of Market Supervision, has deeply promoted the centralized management of black products such as camera peeping. They also cleared more than 22,000 related illegal and harmful information, and disposed of more than 4,000 platform accounts. There were 132 groups and more than 1,600 illegal products that were immediately removed.
These numbers clearly shows that the so-called “pinhole cameras business” is prospering in China. In we guess it is gaining momentum not only China. But it’s still unclear how we can prevent cybercriminals from stealing our data.