Security Expert Shows Us How To Spot Hidden Cameras In Hotels And Airbnbs

While the technical progress we see happening faster and faster than ever has definitely made some aspects of our lives easier, it's also true that with each new development tends to come a new set of problems.

For instance, the rise of Airbnb has made travel arrangements more convenient for a lot of people but it's also brought them into the properties of strangers.

And as some guests have noted over the years, this home field advantage has given some Airbnb hosts and other property owners the opportunity to secretly record their guests for often unclear but disconcerting reasons.

However, one former hacker and cybersecurity expert has recently shown us that even the smallest hidden cameras can be detected with some fairly common tools.

Since finding hidden cameras can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack, TikTok user Marcus Hutchins starts with a tip to narrow our search.

As he put it, it helps to look for devices and holes in any places "where a creeper would want to look."

Basically, this includes any unit with a clear view of the bed or the shower.

And once we identify these potential candidates, he recommends shining a bright light over them.

In his words, "If you hit a camera lens, it's going to give a bluish reflection." And as we can see in this smoke detector, that reflection can make an otherwise small and hard to detect lens noticeable.

Hutchins demonstrated that this trick also reveals what's behind mirrored surfaces like the bedside clocks we typically see in hotels.

Apparently, that effect also makes the technique effective at spotting two-way mirrors.

But while he showed that the clock had a camera in it, he noted that this could also potentially be true of the device used to charge it. Notice that little pinhole in the center of the charger?

After showing us where these cameras can appear and how to spot them, Hutchins went on to reveal a trick to specifically uncover night vision cameras.

What we're looking at here is the same smoke detector from earlier, but this time it was used to demonstrate the fact that it uses infrared LEDs to see.

But at the same time, those LEDs can help us detect the cameras if we turn off the lights and look at the device they're attached to through a smartphone's front-facing camera.

And Hutchins said that we specifically want to use the front-facing camera because the other one has an IR filter that hides the LEDS.

But while this method might make it easier to spot night vision cameras than the light trick, it's also not as reliable for the cameras in the bathroom.

After all, what's the point of using night vision cameras there when most people don't shower in the dark?

More details on Hutchins' tips can be found in the video here, but he made a point of reminding us that these cameras are small enough to fit basically anywhere.

So as he said, "You're going to want to check any suspicious devices or holes that are facing the shower, dressing area, or the bed."

Stay safe!