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Tricking Surveillance Camera Systems

Jul 29, 2008
No matter how much we dislike it, unfortunate as it may seem, crime is a part of human society. The existence of crime originates from man's selfish and ambitious nature.

Without the conceptualization, development, and implementation of law enforcement, crime would have wrecked havoc on society like an unstoppable tide. Law enforcement has been able to control crime with the use of weapons and other means.

Another indirect way to deter or prevent crime is through passive observation. By doing surveillance, police have extensively monitored crime-prone areas or checked out activities indicating a crime in progress. Surveillance allows policemen to respond quickly to a crime in progress. Even if they don't arrive on time, they still have a big chance to collar the culprit by studying the recorded images, pictures, and voices taken by surveillance systems.

Many tools, gadgets, and methods are used in passive surveillance. The first line of these gadgets is a surveillance camera. These cameras provide clear, real-time images of the activities and people in a specific area.

However, surveillance camera systems can be fooled. Provided they can locate these cameras, crooks can trick camera systems, much to the annoyance and concern of law enforcement.

1. The camera is like a human eye. Shining a strong light directly into the lens of the camera blinds the camera, just like a human eye. The operator only sees an annoying white light, which blocks any scene. However, the light source must be quite powerful; ordinary flashlights won't work.

2. Cameras have an arc of sight, the area of its coverage. Anything beyond the camera's arc, such as directly below it, above it, or behind it, can't be seen. Crooks can maneuver themselves in these areas to avoid being seen.

3. Cameras usually move around to scan surrounding areas. If the timing is right, crooks can move quickly through unscanned areas or those areas where the camera has just finished scanning. This is tricky though; some cameras have wide-angle lenses.

4. There are several materials that can disrupt the camera's signals. For example, magnesium flares blind the camera systems. Strong electromagnets or chaff (a countermeasure used by fighter planes) can severely disrupt the signal or perhaps even damage the camera.

5. If a crook can get behind a surveillance camera system, he can cut or disconnect the feed wires. These wires transmit the images to a computer monitoring system; if severed, no signal is received. However, this trick demands research. Many cameras now are wireless and can transmit signals without wires.

6. A crude but efficient way is to cut off the power supply of the camera, which is usually a thick power cord. Cutting this, of course, renders the camera immobile and unable to transmit images.

All these methods, however, are considerably difficult, if not impossible to achieve. For one, multiple systems are around. Therefore, cutting one won't really make a difference; there are more that can record a crook's activities. Also when one or two cameras suddenly malfunction, police immediately suspect foul play and send units to the area.
About the Author
Steve Strong's is an employee with Sun Security a leading supplier of Dome Security Cameras , Wireless Security Camera Systems and 8 Channel DVR Security Cards .
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