Wireless anti surveillance device Cyborg Unplug

Cyborg Unplug is a hardware device that scans your WiFi network, detects unauthorised gadgets connected to the network spying on you, like a wireless cam or microphone, and disconnects them.

There are two models available, one that works with the 2.4GHz band and detects and disconnects gadgets like Google Glass, warning you with a blinking LED light or sending an alert to a smartphone app, and a more expensive model that works in the 5GHz band, normally used by businesses, emits and audio alert and can monitor Bluetooth connections in addition to WiFi.

The hardware is nothing out of the ordinary, a simple WiFi router with an Atheros chipset, the magic is the firmware powering Cyborg Unplug, it runs a modified Linux based OpenWRT for embedded devices that blocks appliances from getting to the Internet. The code is open source, available for download, it can be installed in compatible hardware if you are a tech able to make your own.

Anti spy device Cyborg Unplug

Anti spy device Cyborg Unplug

Unlike WiFi jamming, this device detects specific MAC addresses of surveillance gadgets like Google Glass or drones and disconnects them from your wireless network sending a de-authentication packet. The Cyborg Unplug owner gets to decide what kind of gadget can and can not be connected to WiFi, white listing them with a check box. Since the device relies on knowing the spying devices MAC addresses, Cyborg Unplug will be updated as new ones hit the market, with lists downloaded to Cyborg Unplug using the Tor network to avoid exposing your WiFi IP anywhere.

This device can only be legally used in your own WiFi network, using it somewhere you are not authorised would get you in serious trouble. The developer recommends you to only turn the “Territory Mode” on, this mode blacklists targeted gadgets and allows access to everything else, a more restrictive “All Out Mode” kicks off the wireless network all devices in range, including paired smartphones. This can be illegal in some jurisdictions and you are the only person responsible for illegitimate usage.

The biggest downfall of this device is that it will not prevent a recording, it only prevents streaming over WiFi, the second problem is that if the spying device is sending out data using a 4G mobile phone network it gets away with it, but not many do that because 4G it is still expensive for video.

Home users worried about their own WiFi network being exploited should configure their router filtering MAC addresses. The substantial use I see in Cyborg Unplug is for businesses like restaurants or offices providing WiFi access. I liked how easily this devices can kick out drones, webcams or Google Glass while allowing laptops and tablets in with very little work.

Cyborg Unplug can be handy as part of a  security layer administering wireless Internet services, but not as a stand alone bullet that will prevent WiFi abuse.

Visit Cyborg Unplug homepage

One Response
  1. 12 October, 2014

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