Mobile Technology

Detonate the transparency grenade to instantly collect and leak sensitive data

Detonate the transparency gren...
The transparency grenade prior to assembly
The transparency grenade prior to assembly
View 19 Images
User interface of the online application for tracking 'detonations'
1/19
User interface of the online application for tracking 'detonations'
User interface of the online application for tracking 'detonations'
2/19
User interface of the online application for tracking 'detonations'
User interface of the online application for tracking 'detonations'
3/19
User interface of the online application for tracking 'detonations'
User interface of the online application for tracking 'detonations'
4/19
User interface of the online application for tracking 'detonations'
The transparency grenade - the shell and the top ring
5/19
The transparency grenade - the shell and the top ring
The transparency grenade - overlapping shell design
6/19
The transparency grenade - overlapping shell design
The transparency grenade prior to assembly
7/19
The transparency grenade prior to assembly
The making of the transparency grenade
8/19
The making of the transparency grenade
The transparency grenade - dimensions
9/19
The transparency grenade - dimensions
The transparency grenade - main body - cut view
10/19
The transparency grenade - main body - cut view
The transparency grenade - top ring design
11/19
The transparency grenade - top ring design
Note: the expansion board 'Pinto-TH' pictured is not used in the final grenade
12/19
Note: the expansion board 'Pinto-TH' pictured is not used in the final grenade
The transparency grenade - side of the shell and wiring
13/19
The transparency grenade - side of the shell and wiring
The transparency grenade's trigger mechanism has been handcrafted from sliver
14/19
The transparency grenade's trigger mechanism has been handcrafted from sliver
The transparency grenade assembled
15/19
The transparency grenade assembled
The transparency grenade assembled
16/19
The transparency grenade assembled
The translucent shell of the transparency grenade has been
17/19
The translucent shell of the transparency grenade has been
Although exhibited as a work of art, the transparency grenade is not just a concept
18/19
Although exhibited as a work of art, the transparency grenade is not just a concept
The transparency grenade's shell design is based on the classic Soviet F1 handheld grenade
19/19
The transparency grenade's shell design is based on the classic Soviet F1 handheld grenade
View gallery - 19 images

If you thought Wikileaks was a disruptive idea, the transparency grenade is going to blow you away. This tiny bit of hardware hidden under the shell shaped like a classic Soviet F1 hand grenade allows you to leak information from anywhere just by pulling a pin. The device is essentially a small computer with a powerful wireless antenna and a microphone. Following detonation, the grenade intercepts local network traffic and captures audio data, then makes the information immediately available online.

The data obtained at the site of detonation streamed anonymously streamed to a dedicated server where it is mined for bits of emails, HTML code, images and audio material. These are then neatly presented in the form of a feed that can be accessed when clicking on the red dot highlighting the place of the leakage on a map available online. The ease of use and the mobility of this solution could make the transparency grenade a very powerful weapon in the hands of a concerned citizen or disgruntled civil servant.

Although designed by Julian Oliver for an arts exhibition, the grenade is much more than a concept. It is very much real and tangible. While the translucent shell has been 3D printed from highly resistant resin, the triggering mechanism and all other metal parts have been carefully handcrafted from silver by Susanne Stauch.

The hardware components include a Gumstix computer fitted with an ARM Cortex-A8 processor and running a modified Angstrom OS. An Arduino Nano platform is used to handle the embedded display, and the spy work is handled by a powerful 802.11 antenna and a 5 mm microphone. The collected data is stored on an 8GB MicroSD card. A 3.7 volt battery powers the whole rig, including a 64 x 32 pixel LCD display and a LED Bargraph to show the wireless signal level.

The transparency grenade assembled
The transparency grenade assembled

The grenade form factor may be a great vehicle for artistic expression, but its conspicuous nature makes it slightly impractical - and could see you propelled face first into the pavement by a member of law enforcement. That's why the development of an application for rooted Android devices is already under way. Constantly running in the background on a smartphone, the transparency grenade app is going to provide some of the original device's functionality.

The development process is funded by donations, so you are welcome to contribute to the project. Who knows what implications it may have. If it's used in the right time and place, the transparency grenade's impact zone may be far bigger than that of a regular Soviet F1's.

Source: transparencygrenade via We Make Money Not Art

View gallery - 19 images
10 comments
Michael Gene
Sooner or latter we are going to be forced to make hacking/electronic snooping and the rest into capital offenses, clearly these individuals have zero respect for anybodies privacy and are a real and immediate threat to us all. Cyber warfare being waged on us as individuals needs to be addressed with the same zeal as cyber warfare waged on nation states.
Denis Klanac
Michael Gene, Just like the governments poisoning our water supplies and dumbing down our populations should be kept secret?
Hoovooloo
Denis Klanac, I would usually say the same thing, though there is a fine line between conspiracy theories and actual concerns. I would call something that can instantly read networks (email, web calls, skype, social networking, and usernames and passwords, among anything else you would be sending or recieving on the internet), scan conversations, and instantly upload these to the internet for anybody to read edging on an actual concern.
wle
wait
what does it intercept, exactly?
wifi, cell signals [3g/4g], bluetooth, what?
what about wired signals?
it can;t decrypt wifi, surely.?
wle
Burnerjack
Mike, I'm with you. If the government invaded the public privacy like this people would freak! Oh, it's hackers, ok, that's cool... Well it ain't cool. What is more of a personal invasion than this? Next they'll be hacking our thoughts. As far as capital offenses goes, I agree. Furthermore, I think the writing and/or disemination of viruses should also be a capital offense. Pure evil, no benefit, unless you own a viral defense company. Isn't that just extortion? These people SUCK. Big Time. Slow the whole web down. Good job!
Chris Hunter
This is all public information anyway. anyone sending data that this will intercept would be free for anyone to look at anyway. it is your own fault for sending data unencrypted.
Ross Mcewen-Page
Has the potential to expose many of the clandestine and shady operations conducted throughout the world ....cool. And as Chris Hunter said, if you send important data over the net un-encrypted its your own fault.
kellory
If I fail to lock my doors at night, it is my fault, because I know there are thieves waiting for a chance. But the thieves are still thieves, and my actions don\'t change the fact. This is piracy. Invasion of privacy, and wiretapping rolled into one. This is no different than bugging someone\'s office, or home. In addition, this can steal intellectual ideas, patent ideas, special processes, family recipes, and private information. It would greatly help with identity theft. This makes me want to install a broad band jammer, like they install in hospitals to kill cellphones in restricted areas.
electric38
Throwing these into a few of the meetings being held by the 98% holding America\'s wealth should be mandatory. Saving a few to throw into the private meetings of the politicians they purchase, might also be useful.
Kradak
Oh yeah! I\'m now taking orders for Faraday cages (made in original Soviet-style copper mesh with hand-crafted silver doorknobs!). Good prices, excellent service.