GlitchHiker: Uncovering Vulnerabilities of Image Signal Transmission with IEMI


Qinhong Jiang, Xiaoyu Ji, Chen Yan, Zhixin Xie, Haina Lou, and Wenyuan Xu, Zhejiang University


Cameras have evolved into one of the most important gadgets in a variety of applications. In this paper, we identify a new class of vulnerabilities involving the hitherto disregarded image signal transmission phase and explain the underlying principles of camera glitches for the first time. Based on the vulnerabilities, we design the GlitchHiker attack that can actively induce controlled glitch images of a camera at various positions, widths, and numbers using intentional electromagnetic interference (IEMI). We successfully launch the GlitchHiker attack on 8 off-the-shelf camera systems in 5 categories in their original packages at a distance of up to 30 cm. Experiments with 2 case studies involving 4 object detectors and 2 face detectors show that injecting one ribboning suffices to hide, create or alter objects and persons with a maximum success rate of 98.5% and 80.4%, respectively. Then, we discuss real-world attack scenarios and perform preliminary investigations on the feasibility of targeted attacks. Finally, we propose hardware- and software-based countermeasures.

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@inproceedings {285413,
author = {Qinhong Jiang and Xiaoyu Ji and Chen Yan and Zhixin Xie and Haina Lou and Wenyuan Xu},
title = {{GlitchHiker}: Uncovering Vulnerabilities of Image Signal Transmission with {IEMI}},
booktitle = {32nd USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security 23)},
year = {2023},
isbn = {978-1-939133-37-3},
address = {Anaheim, CA},
pages = {7249--7266},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug

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