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I discovered my first hidden camera at an AirBnB last week in Yerevan, Armenia. Always scan the wifi when you get to a new place!!

They had it hidden in the vacuum cleaner box with a little hole punched in the side...

I reported the hidden camera after I checked out early and they immediately refunded me and suspended the account (and hopefully banned them).

As for how I found it, I used nmap to do a network scan and checked out the IP that wasn’t the router or one of my devices and it had some typical default credentials. I saw this article recently that goes deeper on finding cameras... isc.sans.edu/diary/How+to+Find

I feel like I should also add that over the course of the last year I have stayed at 27 different AirBnBs and they handled it pretty well after I reported it. Also, I do not think it had anything to do with the fact it was in Yerevan, could have happened anywhere...

@vgan I help run a couple of Airbnb places, I've wondered a few times about how to reassure people about what's NOT there as well as telling them what is.

A page in the guestbook listing all the devices we supply and expect to be on the wifi maybe ... maybe only one person in a hundred would care, but I'd like to make that person happy.

@mike @vgan maybe providing a guide to airbnb safety that encourages people to check your own rooms to start? people who already want to know will be satisfied, people who didn't know won't be weirded out and may even benefit in the future

@tuxicoman I’m not really sure but I did get a picture of a QR on the device...

@vgan how did you manage to know it was a camera ?

@Nocta Just a guess, it was the only thing on the network besides my phone, laptop and the router and it had common web ports open.

@vgan oh okay so you just opened it on you browser and you could see yourself ?

@Nocta Well, it had default credentials, so I did log in but ya... basically.

@vgan
You can get them banned from airbnb check out the terms of service and the FAQ, and/or get a big discount on your stay

@arthurlutzim I did! I reported them right after I checked out and AirBnB refunded me and also banned them (or at least suspended the account).

@arthurlutzim It was a really unsettling situation though... I unplugged the camera immediately when I found it and I think they must have known. I checked out a night early and just left the keys inside.

@vgan
The funny thing when you think of it is that even a box with DHCP is some sort of tracking

@gordon
That would be theft, unless you have some legal based scenario behind that idea...
@vgan

@vgan Troll them by staging a murder or something.

@vgan could've taken the camera with you, and when they tried to report you for theft, they could've explained themselves to the police why they were violating your privacy. ;)

@vgan while I fully agree with that this sort of concealed photography is absolutely not okay, I can understand why a host would do this. Me and my (ex) partner used to have an airbnb and we've had several instances where we had to evict unlisted "guests" using police assistance or had to deal with theft or vandalism. It's not okay, but I can understand why someone would do this.

@ckipp Ya, only after I checked out. They refunded me and suspended their account.

@vgan What do you do regarding you bnb in the case you find one of this? Do you leave and report the host? Should you make a complain? What should we do?

@feynman In my case I was alone in a foreign country and didn’t feel safe just reporting it immediately. I posted public images to twitter but didn’t @ airbnb until after I checked out, then I reported it. They refunded my money and suspended the account.

@vgan I think I would have done the same. Or maybe going further. What have you done with the bug?

@vgan The guy was stupid to connect it to the same network & without password. And a weirdo to do that. Was that transmitting somewhere over the internet?

@feynman It’s possible, who knows... Incredibly creepy.

@feynman I think if it ever happened to me again I would just leave immediately and report it instead of staying.

@vgan I’m curious how do you know that there is a possible cam hidden just by looking at all the WiFi network available ? Generally WiFi are password secured ? How do you manage to find it ?

@FluoCrazyKenny Generally the host will give you the WiFi password so you have internet during your stay. @vgan

@jamie @vgan so it is more about ip scan rather than WiFi network name ? I’m right ?

@vgan hey radio yerevan, do airbnb hosts surveil their guests with hidden cameras?

@vgan And they are idiots too. Having it visible on the network like that.

I hope you can report that

@focus404 I used nmap but there is also a mobile app called fing that’s very simple to use.

@vgan oh wow. I have stayed in placed where the owners have showed us the external cameras for property protection but never thought places would have them hidden inside.

I'm guessing these are nefarious in nature rather than simply crime prevention?

@carbontwelve @vgan this is reported on occasionally in the US and usually the excuse the hosts give is that they’re just trying to protect their property but yeah it’s just as likely for creepy purposes or for seeing when a guest’s possessions could “go missing”

@antranigv Nope, I’m in Kiev at the moment. I really liked Yerevan though.

@vgan What about cameras that save the video offline to be watched later by their owners?

@vgan Oh, wow, the owner went to all the trouble to get the camera wired up with antenna and lithium batter, but didn't bother to put it on a separate wifi networ,

Which makes me terrified of all the people who would go to all the trouble of putting camera on a separate network.

@vgan
Do you have a mobile app to scan wifi? I do not always take my laptop with me...
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