Wi-Fi Sniffing Picture Frame Snatches Pictures From Nearby Traffic

By Jason Fitzpatrick on June 16th, 2011

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 a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 06/16/11
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