The ubiquity of hidden cameras contributed to a spy cam porn epidemic in South Korea. Now a security expert is revealing “it’s going to be just as bad here.”
Security expert Randy Andrews has been in the video security and surveillance industry for over two decades and explained how experts have been aware of hidden cameras for years overseas in countries like South Korea.
“There was a whole industry born out of voyeuring women in South Korea that was so bad that the government there created a task force,” explained Andrews. “The latest statistics there was that they were searching 80 plus hotel rooms, restrooms, etc. per day to eradicate these cameras. The problem is going to be just as bad here. These cameras are not going away; they're cheap; they're easy-to-get; and they're easy to set-up.”
Earlier this year, South Korean police arrested four people on suspicion of secretly filming about 1,600 guests in hotel rooms and posting or streaming the footage on the internet. The Korean National Police Agency said the mini-spy cameras were set up in TV set-top boxes, hair dryers or electrical outlets in 42 rooms in 30 hotels throughout South Korea.
Andrews delivered some basic advice for travelers to detect hidden cameras.
“If something looks out of place or the clock radio is pointed in a particular direction or it's in the bathroom instead of the living area, be aware,” said Andrews. “One of the things you can do to see if a mirror has a camera is to put an object or even your finger on the mirror, and if there's a little gap between your finger and the reflection, that's usually a normal mirror. If it's a two-way mirror, your finger will be flat up against your reflection.”
Andrews created the Hidden Camera Detector (HCD) app to further protect users based on his years of experience. The HCD app helps users detect covert devices like spy cameras and GPS trackers while also searching for spy cameras on Wi-Fi, local networks and Bluetooth as it scans online to see if anyone is watching with a device.
“The app turns on your camera and the flash on your iPhone, and then we have an algorithm that looks at your camera's view, and then you point your camera at the object in question,” Andrews said. “And the app then looks for the reflection of that pinhole camera from the flash on the on the iPhone.”
The app will then let the user know whether a camera was detected, which empowers users to feel safe in their settings.
“We need to get the word out without frightening people, because these cameras are everywhere, easy to setup, and they're inexpensive,” said Andrews. “Live your life, but not in fear. And, if you feel uneasy take your app and scan the room!”
For more security tips and insights, watch the full interview with security expert Randy Andrews above.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Emily DeCiccio is a reporter and video producer for Fox News Digital Originals. Tweet her @EmilyDeCiccio