The OpticSpy modules provide a platform to explore, evaluate, and experiment with optical data transmissions. They capture, amplify, and convert optical signals into digital form that can be analyzed or decoded with a computer.

All designs are distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-3.0 United States license.

Application Ideas:
  • Search for optical covert channels (methods of exfiltrating data in a way undetectable to the human eye) that may exist within devices
  • Add data transfer functionality to a project
  • Discover Li-Fi, Visible Light Communication (VLC), or other optical networking systems

OpticSpy Analog (Crowd Supply)

OpticSpy Analog (Kit Version)

OpticSpy Digital (Kit Version)

Laser Diode Module Driver

microSD-to-Serial Interface



Using an Arduino Uno with external LED to send a secret message via optical covert channel.

Parallax Propeller

Using the Propeller-based Hackable Electronic Badge to send a secret message via infrared LED. The LCD displays the message being transmitted.


Using Tomu's red LED to send a secret message via optical covert channel.

TP-link TL-WR841N

Using the router's WAN LED to exfiltrate data via optical covert channel. As a proof-of-concept, the payload is loaded onto the device with known administrator credentials.

MacBook Pro Keyboard Backlight

Using the MacBook Pro's keyboard backlight LEDs as a proof-of-concept optical covert channel. OS X modulates the LEDs at 100Hz, 75% duty cycle, which prevents the use of a high data rate and presents a noticeable flicker when data is being sent.