Chinese researchers have developed a system that can receive and transmit sound using fiber optic cables. With this system, you can listen to people’s conversations from a distance of 800 meters!
Optical fiber cables transmit data using optical pulses and are usually used in broadband networks. They are also sensitive to changes in the environment caused by sound.
Transmission of audio signals with optical fiber cables
Chinese researchers have published a paper examining the dangers of using home fiber for eavesdropping. Chinese researchers have developed a system that receives sound from one end of an optical cable and transmits it to the other end of the cable. The sensitivity of cables to environmental pressures caused by acoustic waves such as the sound of normal human speech is also considered a security risk.
Tsinghua University researchers explained in this article:
“Fiber optic networks are being widely implemented around the world because they not only make data transmission easier but also allow you to get more information. The various functions of optical fiber networks, including earthquake detection, urban traffic flow monitoring, and making discoveries related to underground structures, have a positive effect on people’s lives. However, they also present potential security issues that should be carefully considered.”
Fiber to the customer premises (FTTP) is a type of broadband network that uses optical fibers. In FTTP, fiber optic cables are run directly to the customer’s premises (home or office). According to the research, these cables have the ability to receive audio signals, listen and recover them on the other side of the cable without the need for other equipment.
In this research, Chinese researchers created a system capable of detecting light changes due to people talking near the optical fiber. Also, in the tests they conducted on this system, the sound received in the cable on the opposite side was not clear, but using computer software, they improved this sound and made it understandable.
Although this work requires complex equipment and special conditions, it is possible. Scientists believe that materials such as glass and metal can be used to prevent eavesdropping because this makes cables less sensitive to optical changes caused by sounds.
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