How-To Geek

Wi-Fi Sniffing Picture Frame Snatches Pictures From Nearby Traffic

If a digital picture frame seems too dull this interesting DIY frame actively sniffs Wi-Fi traffic and displays the pictures it finds.

Over at the Free Geek Vancouver blog Autuin shares a fascinating build. He essentially converted an old laptop into a digital picture frame but with a huge twist: it sniffs the Wi-Fi around it and supplies the photos for the frame by lifting them from the airwaves. He writes:

The project: to make a digital picture frame to snatch pictures from a public wi-fi connection. Many coffee shops in Vancouver feature both local art and wi-fi, so why not combine the two? Imagine toting your laptop down for a latte, plugging in, and discovering that your Facebook pictures are on display on the wall. That’s what this picture frame does.

Obviously this project a tremendous violation of privacy, which is kind of the point. Using a coffee shop wireless connection is a huge risk, unless you take care to use some kind of extra encryption; one project called Firesheep recently made the news for allowing tremendously simplistic theft of Facebook sessions, among other things. If you’re logging into a website that doesn’t use HTTPS encryption, and most don’t, you’re giving your credentials away. This is a nice visual demonstration of that.

Check out the link below to see his build guide.

Another Hack: Wiretap Picture Frame [Free Geek Vancouver via BoingBoing]

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 06/16/11

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