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Camera Spoofing

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She went into the changing alcove while I spystopped. I found a new active camera and managed to remotely access its feed while my back was to it. Geeta fluttered back into the cabin in her exercise clothes, talked about her adventures, then started her nightly routine. Three repetitions in, I created a loop and sent the camera into nontime.
Futures In The Memories Market, by Nina Hoffman

In order to fool a particularly inept Mook, our heroes must covertly make themselves invisible to a security camera. They replace the camera's view with an image of the same scene, so the ever-watchful officer will never notice.

There are two basic variants:

The Polaroid Punk — The heroes take an instant photograph from the camera's perspective and then place it in front of the camera. This may or may not require blocking or removing the camera in the process, but even if it does, the security officer on duty will dismiss it as just a temporary glitch, because the image is back, showing no activity, before they can investigate. Whether or not (or exactly how long) this works depends on a number of factors, such as whether the security camera is capable of focusing that close to its own lens (otherwise the photo will be horribly blurred out), how well-illuminated the picture is (especially compared to the scene it's imitating), and whether or not there's any ambient movement (such as outside traffic or a flowing fountain) that normally should be in the scene — because the guard might catch on that the image is too still to be a live feed.

The Splice and Dice — The tech pro on the team manages (by means of infiltrating and/or hacking) to capture some amount of live camera footage, then feeds the recorded footage to the security monitors in an endless loop. This avoids some of the problems posed by taking a still photograph, but if the footage contains any activity (as in the case of Speed), the guard may eventually notice that the same activity is looping over and over and catch on.

Note that it doesn't matter if the camera is a rotating one: It just makes it harder, but eventually the tech guy will sync the loop with the camera's movement, or the photo guy will put a curved panoramic shot in front of it.

In either case, the deception will inevitably break down, alerting the guards to the prank at some dramatic moment.

Compare Recorded Audio Alibi, which is sometimes used in conjunction with this.

See also Security Blindspot.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Canaan, Maria's father is believed to have been killed by a car bomb because a security camera showed him getting into a car moments before it explodes. A bit later, a technician rewinding the tape notices a bird that flies in front of the camera and disappears mid-air just before the explosion: it turns out, the villains have overridden the original feed at that moment with a staged video of a car explosion so they could kidnap the occupant without his security starting an immediate pursuit.
  • A Certain Scientific Railgun: Misaka Mikoto uses her electricity powers to get the "Splice and Dice" effect. It also worked against security robots.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex takes this a step further. The cleverer members of the Section 9 team can hack into the cyberbrains of people, and edit their sight (this is in addition to the active camouflage that renders them invisible). The powerful cyber-hacker known as "The Laughing Man" can do this to whole crowds, including all cameras and other such devices in the area, replacing his face with a cartoonish logo.note 
    • Inverted in one episode, when the Tachikomas send the camera a simulated feed of someone breaking through a vault, tricking the owner into opening it to catch the "thief".
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: The JOJOLands: Usagi Aloha'oe's Stand The Matte Kudasai has the ability to transform into a replica of an object that someone other than Usagi expresses a desire for. When transforming into a replica of a house's security camera, it provides an altered version of the footage wherein people are wearing slightly different clothes and have different facial features, rendering the original camera's footage unusable as evidence due to it being impossible to tell which footage is the real deal.
  • Lupin III:
    • "Guns, Bun, and Fun in the Sun" has Lupin and his allies arrested for drunken driving as part of the set-up for a heist. They smuggled in a projector with reels and used bedsheets to make a screen, showing a loop of themselves in bed to the security camera. Interestingly, the guards didn't spot anything — the plan worked until a suspicious Zenigata checked on the cell itself.
    • Once again, Zenigata's suspicious nature reveals a flaw in Lupin's attempt in the movie, Lupin III: Operation: Return the Treasure. Lupinís gang takes advantage of the power blink to run footage of an untampered safe while Lupin works on the real one. Zenigata eventually finds an error, but naturally itís too late.
  • Planetes: When Hakim attempts to sabotage the Von Braun, he attaches magnets to the security cameras in the engine room. These cause the screens to jitter for a second and then display a static image.
  • Transformers Victory: In one episode, Hellbat and the Dinoforce imprison Jan and Holi in a room with a security camera, so Jan uses his art supplies to make an error screen that he places in front of the camera to convince their captors that their camera is broken and give him and Holi time to escape.

  • In an issue of The Simpsons comic, Homer, Lenny and Carl snuck out to go to a baseball game. Homer chose the Polaroid option, but accidentally attached the picture upside down. Burns, after having his TV viewer checked to make sure IT wasn't upside down, sent guards to investigate, but the picture fell off JUST as Homer got back to his seat. Burns never even noticed. Oh, and Lenny picked a third option, sticking a robot double in his seat.
  • Donatello pulls a perfect Polaroid Punk in an early issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Mirage). He even uses a puppet of a pigeon to cover swapping in the picture.

    Fan Works 
  • In the post-series Mobile Suit Gundam Wing fanfic The Cleverness of the Moment, Heero is brought in to be Relena's personal bodyguard for her eighteenth birthday party. He does the splicing method of this trope with one camera because he tested her estate's security and determined it to be weak, and wanted to see how long it would take personnel to notice the loop (almost an hour). Not knowing that he's dealing with a former Gundam Pilot, the head of security is only angry at his tech, who had previously sworn up and down that the firewalls were impenetrable.

    Film — Animation 
  • Batman: Assault on Arkham: After the Suicide Squad seizes control of the main security room at Arkham, they fix the cameras to play yesterday's footage. When Batman views the footage, he instantly realizes what they have done when he spots two guards who don't work Fridays.
  • Catwoman: Hunted. Before doing this Catwoman sends her pet cat Isis out to trip the motion sensors. Once the guards have turned them off to prevent false alarms, she's able to use this trope, saying it's easier to fool the cameras than the motion sensors.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Anon (2018) takes place in a world of total surveillance, as everyone is required to wear eye implants that record everything they see. The authorities then discover there are people who can evade this system when a murder is committed and the killer remains unidentified via this trope.
    • The killer's victims have their Impending Doom P.O.V. hacked onto their vision so there's no record of the killer's face. Later while being chased the killer hacks an image of a subway train onto the detective's vision when there's actually an empty platform, to try and make him step onto it and get run over by the real train which arrives moments later.
    • This is what the Girl does for her clients, erasing the recorded memory and splicing an innocuous memory in its place. It's not a simple matter as anyone else the client was interacting with has to have their memories altered as well, preferably in a way they won't notice.
    • The detective gets placed under house arrest after being framed by the killer, with a policeman outside watching what he's doing via his Minds Eye. He pretends to go to sleep, then with his eyes still closed feels his way out of the building until he's near where the policeman is, then rushes the policeman and knocks him out.
    • In the climatic scene, the detective is under house arrest again, so the Girl just slice-and-loops his vision so she can sneak into his apartment for when the killer tries to kill him.
  • The Art of War (2000). The Dragon is in the security room of UN Headquarters when Shaw approaches and shoots out the camera pointing at the front entrance. The villain simply traps Shaw by locking him in the revolving door, but when he goes to finish the job, finds the Inspector Javert there instead, Shaw having slipped in by another entrance. Fridge Logic asks why the distant cameras didn't show the Bait-and-Switch, but maybe the Snowy Screen of Death drew his attention from it.
  • Played completely straight in Bloodfist VI by the terrorists, who spoof the cameras as they invade the facility so that no one within catches on.
  • In the Italian film Danger: Diabolik the main character uses a large camera and a standing candle to pull the Polaroid Punk. It works up until the point where the sound doesn't match up with the image, but by then he's long gone.
  • In Derailed (2002), Classy Cat-Burglar Galina Konstantin spoofs the camera of the research facility she breaks into by plugging her phone into the camera and having it show a loop of the empty corridor.
  • Entrapment used the splice-and-dice method to show the thieves (dressed as swanky party-goers) riding an elevator (played via a loop) while in reality they slipped into the main bank's database. The guards did notice they weren't moving at all. It wasn't the guards who noticed the time code looping, though, but an insurance investigator. They noticed something strange when the elevator began to move but the camera showed no one inside (because elevators never move with no one inside).
  • In The Fifth Element an apparently drugged up dancing attempted thief spoofs a security video of the door by wearing a hat with a picture of the background. He puts the hat up to the camera, it shows the background, and the door opens, at which point he points a gun at Bruce Willis. Willis disarms him with a "The Safety is Off" trick, and compliments the thief on his nice hat.
  • Fortress 2: Re-Entry: After they discover that the implant inside them taps into the optic nerve and turns them into walking cameras, the prisoners are able to hack into one of them to transmit a loop of them in the shower so they can have conversations in peace. The people in charge of watching the feed don't notice because they are too busy ogling the prisoners.
  • Ghostwatch: After the investigation team opens the 'Glory Hole', the soundman gets koshed over the head with the hall mirror and the live feed from inside the house cuts out. The gallery says they've re-established the feed via the University Research Team's CCTV installed in the house, apparently showing that everything is back to normal, though communication via The BBC link between studio and the outside broadcast team is still down. So the gallery puts the picture on the big screen as host Michael Parkinson and expert Dr Pascoe discuss the paranormal. As they talk, Pascoe suddenly realizes the images from the house aren't live, as a picture previously knocked off the wall was suddenly back in place, meaning the entity haunting the house has gotten control of their machines.
  • Done in Hollow Man with a thermal camera so no-one notices his escape.
  • Hudson Hawk contains a textbook example of the Splice-and-Dice method, right down to the unusual occurrence captured on film which later tips off the security guys that something's amiss; to their credit, they immediately realize that someone's replaying earlier camera footage. (It helps that the unusual occurrence was both unique and highly distinctive; if it were just somebody walking by a camera, things might've been different.)
  • Mission: Impossible III had a spoof, where the scene being spoofed was projected onto what appeared to be a large projection screen. Said screen was the size of the hall, and had to be synchronized to its location. The spoof was only revealed when the screen started to droop.
  • In Mission: Impossible Ė Ghost Protocol, they use an extensive projector screen setup to pull off eyeball spoofing (they use a head-tracking device and arm-mounted camera to reproduce the correct perspective from the guard's viewpoint). It works perfectly (when Simon Pegg isn't sticking his head into the camera pickup) until a second guard shows up, causing the confused projector to constantly swap between their viewpoints, tipping them off that something is up.
  • A deleted scene from Napoleon Dynamite showed Napoleon and Pedro using a variation of the Polaroid ploy to remove the suit from the thrift-store mannequin. Except instead of a picture of the store, it's some shirtless beefcake from the cover of a romance novel.
  • The splicing approach is used in National Treasure to make Nicolas Cage's character invisible. The character doing the splicing (Riley) comments; "Ben Gates, you are now The Invisible Man."
  • In Ocean's 8, 9-Ball hacks the security company's computers and gradually expands a blindspot in the camera coverage outside the restrooms to be 12 ft. long; allowing for a switch that is vital to The Caper.
  • Ocean's Eleven revolves around use of both Splice and Dice and Polaroid Punk to an almost excessive degree. In fact, the vast majority of the movie consists of the heroes making Splice and Dice preparations and sneaking around. The mark discovers the subterfuge, the word "Bellagio" on the floor that was only installed a few days before, but too late to stop them.
  • Happens twice in Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre. John does it to Sarah's feed at the Madrid airport to cover Mike's men abducting the courier. Sarah catches on when she sees the repeated jerky movement of a woman in the coffee shop. Later Sarah loops the security cameras in Simmonds' Turkish compound while she is hacking the money transfer. Emilia realises something is wrong when the cameras show Simmonds' office as empty when she knows he is in there.
  • Parodied in an Olsen-banden movie, where the gang manages to calm an elderly guard - not with a picture of the room the camera is pointing at, but a picture of the royal family. (The trope would later be played straight in the second licensed game, using a photo taken of a ship in daytime to obfuscate an outdoors camera... At night.)
  • In Salvation Boulevard, Jerry fixes the camera footage after the fact to remove any evidence of Pastor Dan being at the scene of the shooting.
  • So Close: The younger sister, Sue, is fond of this trick, pulling it off on the opening to cover her sister escape and later tries pulling it off on her older sister, Lynn, to pretends she's at home and not pulling off a job on her own, but Lynn sees through it.
  • In Speed, Keanu Reeves and his friends hacks into the camera that the villain installed onto the bus to observe them. They loop one clip of everyone sitting on the bus and while the video is looping they use this time to get everyone off the bus without the villain knowing. The villain eventually figures it out when he notices one woman moving her hand during the loop over and over again (specifically, there's a point during the loop where she drops her purse, and the splice point has the purse flash back into her lap)...
  • Sputnik. To enter a restricted area of the facility, Konstantin removes a magnet from the television in his room and places it on the side of a CCTV camera. The guard leaves the monitoring room to investigate why the camera isn't working, and they're able to slip past while he's walking from one place to the other.
  • Something similar was done by Lex Luthor in Superman II, though he was apparently able to project a hologram of himself and his henchman playing chess.
  • There's a subversion of this in Barry Levinson's film Toys, where the distraction created by the characters in the hallway is disguised as a music video, and the illusion is compounded by having another character replace that particular monitor's label with one reading "MTV."
  • In Unaccompanied Minors, the characters escape from a holding cell by making a video of themselves with video-enabled cell phones and taping the cell phones in front of the security cameras. (Of course, in real life, this would have the same problem with being out of focus that the Polaroid Punk would have.)

  • Aeon 14: In A Surreptitious Rescue of Friends and Foes, Jessica does this to an enemy soldier's body by hacking his Brain/Computer Interface to send his own senses into a VR sim of his surroundings, minus the team she's slipping past him. (She considered just shooting him, but it would have raised alarms.)
  • Artemis Fowl:
    • Artemis was on the receiving end of this once; Foaly put his security cameras on a loop, which wasn't caught until Artemis realized that Butler was still in the same room he'd been in a few minutes ago, when he was supposed to be making the rounds of the house. At least it worked long enough for one of the fairies to infiltrate the house.
    • Later in the series, Foaly can make all moving objects disappear from footage, and on one occasion adds a CGI duplicate of a character. On another occasion, he adds a tank to the footage, and the incompetent chief of security doesn't doubt it's real for a second.
  • Honor Harrington: In Crown of Slaves, the Masadan team going after Princess Ruth has a device to effectively splice and dice the security system by grabbing some previous footage and looping it. It's not a long-term solution, but they don't need long-term because they expect to have the princess captive before the loop is noticed.
  • In one of the Jack Reacher books, a variation of the Splice and Dice is done by a security guard. The security system of the building records the surveillance footage on 6-hour tapes so he simply replaces the midnight-to-6 am tape with that from a previous night. He reset the date for the system each night for a week so all the tapes had the same date. His main problem was that the night cleaning crew usually cleaned the area around midnight and might show up on the footage. To counter this he made sure that he had tapes from multiple nights and substituted the one that best matched the night of the crime. He is caught because the cleaning crew started work in the area a few minutes before midnight and the only tape he had that would match was from the night where the crew started work almost at midnight. The investigator realizes that the cleaners took way longer then they usually do to clean the office of a neat freak and unravels the scheme.
  • Pilgrennon's Children:
    • When Pilgrennon, Jananin, and Dana break into the building where Cerberus's English computers are being held in Pilgrennon's Beacon, Dana overrides the security camera feed with images of an empty hallway.
    • She does the same thing to a school CCTV camera in The Emerald Forge so people won't know she and Eric went into the building alone after school.
  • Wade Watts does this late in Ready Player One. He rigs the camera in his sleeping pod and the one attached to his ear so that they'd show looping footage of him sleeping, rather than hacking into the Sixer database every night.
  • Done by hackers in Relativity. Fortunately, Ravenswood was paranoid enough to set-up a few cameras that were off the net.
  • In the second book in the Spaceforce (2012) series, the kidnapping of an alien Prince is covered up by a criminal hacker who fakes security camera images from an earlier time period. In a later book, reformed hacker Andri performs the same trick with security cams on the 'theme world' Fantasia, to allow two other agents to sneak into the planetís central research laboratories without attracting unwanted attention.
  • In X-Wing: Wraith Squadron, code-slicer Grinder does a splice-and-dice on a camera he'd hacked into earlier (actually a server handling the footage). To keep the loop from being too obvious, he has everyone in-frame hold still (his compatriots are the only ones there at the time). He also mentions "blending the seam", likely a term for making sure the looped video didn't do an obvious Jump Cut as it repeated. It seems to work, at least until the maintenance crew they're pretending to be shows up.
    • Grinder uses it again in the same novel to cover up one of his pranks involving a fellow pilot's X-Wing. In this case, the hangar was empty, so there was no background movement to worry about. He's still caught, mostly because he pulls off the caper in a way that requires the skills of a good code-slicer—and he's the only code-slicer in the squadron who's that good.
    • A more advanced version shows up in Solo Command. When Lara Notsil sets up residence on Iron Fist, she creates a splice in the cameras monitoring her room. However, since an AI-level droid is handling the splice, it can modify and blend the footage as much as it wants so no one catches on to the repetition.
    • Averted, however, in Iron Fist. When breaking into a hangar to steal some enemy fighters, Castin merely forges a work order and has the cameras shut down for routine maintenance.
  • A variation in William Gibson's Zero History with "the ugliest t-shirt in the world" — a t-shirt with a pattern that scrambles the wearer's identity so that security cameras can't register it. As with anything Gibson comes up with, people are working on a real life version.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel: In "You're Welcome", Lindsey gets magical tattoos that make him invisible to the cameras.
  • The A-Team used the Polaroid version. And of course, the glue they used to hold up the thing holding the photo started to fail.
  • Banacek had one using the Polaroid version. The security camera was in a room that housed a rare book in a glass case. The thief pointed a high-powered flashlight into the security camera until he got the picture in place. He then "made the book disappear" (trying to open the case it was in would have caused the doors to close and sound an alarm), then shined the light in the camera to remove the picture and make his exit.
  • The Blacklist: This is an extremely common ploy used by both Reddington and crew and by the targets, even for very high-security facilities. After the fifth time it happens or so, you may be wondering why nobody manages to catch on.
  • Columbo
    • In "Playback" the villain, played by Oskar Werner, spliced in a previously recorded camera shot of the study when it was empty, to fool the security guard. Then after he was done killing his mother-in-law in the study, he arranged for the tape of the murder to run on a delay so it would look like he had an alibi for when the security guard saw the video. What ultimately undoes the whole thing is Columbo noticing an invitation to an art gallery that was on the killer's desk in the footage of the shooting, yet had somehow been given to the gallery in question after the supposed time of the murder, meaning he either he retrieved it after the killing or practically stepped across the body twice over to get retrieve it after forgetting it.
    • In "Columbo and the Murder of a Rock Star", a fake alibi was created by having an associate of the killer drive over the speed limit past a speeding camera, while wearing a mask printed with a photograph of the killer's face. Colombo realized what had happened when he saw the 'face' had no shadow under the nose.
  • In an episode of CSI, a security guard time-shifted the camera from one elevator to another in order to cover for the casino owner's daughter.
  • Doctor Who's "The Sunmakers": The Doctor uses the Splice-and-Dice method, with the help of his Robot Buddy.
  • The Equalizer: The protagonist manually adjusts the focus of the camera when he uses the Polaroid method so the image won't be blurred.
  • The Good Wife: A security guard cut in the same several minutes of him going out and checking the parking lot on nights when it was cold and he didn't want to.
  • It Takes a Thief (1968): In the pilot episode, the titular thief makes a drawing of the Indian Head Test Card and sticks it up so that the camera monitoring him looks like it's on the fritz.
  • Mythbusters: An episode on fooling security technology used a variant of this to defeat an infra-red camera, by putting up a sheet of low-e glass (which blocks infra-red radiation to admit sunlight without heating up a building) in front of the sensor, then walking through the room without triggering the alarm.
  • NCIS:
    • The loop-and-splice method was used by bad guys to cover up the theft of a prototype RADAR.
    • The same method was used by Tony in a third season episode. Although he tried to take all the credit, the team quickly pointed out he stole it from Speed.
    • In still another case, the bad guys defeated the security systems in a jewelry store and a bank with a DDOS note  attack, which overwhelmed the security company's server with so much traffic that it couldn't record the footage from the cameras.
  • Person of Interest: Reese and Fusco deactivate the camera manually, giving Finch and Root (posing as technicians) an excuse to access the system to 'fix' the camera.
  • Probe: In "Untouched by Human Hands", the characters don't realize at first that the transmission glitch from when they sent in the robot is due to Kingsley replacing the robot's transmission for one he filmed earlier (which shows him in the room).
  • The Professionals. An alarm version happens in "Long Shot" when a hitman uses a ladder to climb over an electric fence, leaving a dead rat on the fence for when the guards come to investigate the alarm. Cowley isn't fooled however, as the rat had been killed by a broken neck instead of electrocution.
  • Smallville: A depowered Clark was forced to steal an item from a high-security complex. Knowing that he couldn't just "superspeed past the cameras", he brought Chloe along for the technicals. When approaching the camera problem, Clark suggested, in great detail, the use of the second example, only to be informed how complicated the execution really is. In the end, Chloe just hacked into the system and turned the power off. Even simpler: it was an oscillating camera, so Chloe just waited for it to be pointed the other direction, walked up and unplugged it.
  • Treadstone: In "The McKenna Erasure", a hacker freezes the camera image so it just looks like the camera software has locked up. A guard is sent to check the area physically, but the hacker is able to relay his location so the infiltrator can avoid him.
  • Vera: In "Natural Selection", Vera realises what is wrong with the footage of a seemingly empty beach following an "Eureka!" Moment when Aiden comments about the cells being full because it is a full moon. Vera suddenly realises that the murder occurred when the moon was almost full, but the middle section of the footage shows a waxing moon, meaning that someone swapped that section for footage taken a week earlier.

    Tabletop Games 
  • An early Champions supplement includes a cartoon showing Cloud Cuckoolander villain Foxbat attempting this by holding a balloon with the face of one of the heroes in front of the camera. It completely fails to fool anybody.
  • Los Angeles 2035 has an high-tech version of the Polaroid Punk: The anti-camera laser. It is an high tech device that detects cameras and use lasers to project an image of the room that doesn't includes the infiltrators on the camera.
  • Paranoia: Many high-clearance citizens have rigged the cameras in their homes to transmit innocuous-looking footage. With Friend Computer trying to monitor the entire complex at once, It tends not to catch on until something else raises a red flag.
  • Rifts allows technically inclined characters to attempt the splice-and-dice, but it's usually impossible to get at the feed without showing yourself to the camera in anything officially published. Some psychics with a technical bent can beat the rules...and some others without it can subvert the trope by cutting out the electronic middleman and making the guard watching the camera screens see nothing, effectively doing the splice and dice on the human element of the system.
  • It's a standard part of Shadowrun. Runners are expected to do this to deal with cameras often. Helps that everything in the 2070 is wireless. There's even softwares specifically meant to spoof sensor footage.

    Video Games 
  • The old game Hacker 2: The Doomsday Papers makes the player do the Splice and Dice to hide the activities of a robot trying to infiltrate a building. The fact that the building's cameras are the only way for the player to see what's around said robot complicates matters.
  • In Henry Stickmin - Completing the Mission, on the Special Brovert-Ops route Henry has the option to attempt to Polaroid Punk a SAM turret's targeting camera... with a hand-drawn picture of a cloud. It actually works.
  • Polaroid Punk is used in The Lost Crown, to deceive Professor Oogle's security system when Nigel swipes something from the museum. Visually lampshaded in that the wire prop and edge of the photo are clearly seen on the closed-circuit TV screen, implying he only got away with it because Oogle never actually looks at the security footage.
  • A somewhat strange scene in Kasumi's loyalty mission in Mass Effect 2 has security camera footage of her waving her omni-tool at the camera, then fading out of view in a burst of static, implying that she's spoofing the camera and probably deleting camera records. It helps that in order to get this far, she and Shepard killed the guys watching the cameras in the security booth. It also helps that Hock wanted her to reach the vault, so he could verify it was her and then catch her.
  • No One Lives Forever combines both variants: one of your gadgets is a (rather bulky) device that is fixed in front of the camera (like the Polaroid) that contains a recording device that records looped footage then plays it back on a screen fixed in front of the camera lens. Part of the spy gear in the sequel is airgun ammo that sticks to the lenses of offending cameras, disabling them without drawing alarm like shooting it would.
  • In PAYDAY 2, the splice is one of the tricks available to a top-tier Ghost. While it only lasts for fifteen seconds, it can be repeated indefinitely so long as the player is within reach, saving valuable ECM jammers that may otherwise be used to extend the grace period for alarms, as door keys or offensively during Plan B.
  • PAYDAY 3 has the skill return, and this time around the loop is indefinite. However, only a maximum of two cameras can be spoofed at once, and looping a camera after that will end the loop on the oldest camera.
  • Attempted by Bwana in the second The Journey Down episode, except he screws up and plays the original tape recording to the guard. Luckily for him, it's porn, and the guard is too intrigued by the screen to watch the live camera footage.
  • Star Fox Guard has an enemy called Pausemo that resembles a TV with arms attached to a propeller. It will attach itself to the front of one of your cameras and display an image of whatever was in front of it, rendering that camera incapable of seeing any other robots in front of it until you use another one of your cameras to shoot it off.
  • In Thimbleweed Park, a still photograph is used to fool room surveillance at the hotel.
  • In Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward, during a recording of a transmission with the operator trying to contact a group, he explains to his associate that he can see them on his monitor before he's told the feed is a clip on repeat and they were hacked.

    Web Animation 
  • In the Homestar Runner short "Career Day", Marzipan's students watch an informational slideshow/cartoon about SBASAF (Strong Bad's made-up space program), in which Space Captainface (Strong Bad with some tin foil pants) and Harold "Strap" Coopmore (The Cheat with sunglasses and a blue work hat) foil an Italian spy satellite that's trained on Strong Badia by sticking a photo of Strong Badia with the words "Oh, just nothing" written on it on the satellite's camera.

  • Freefall: The robot Clippy is equipped with software weapons that insert "redaction software" into all surveillance systems around him, that 'shop him out in real time. On the other hand, Dr. Bowman uses redaction software in his lab's videophone, to prevent the base commander from ordering Florence NOT to let him beef up her security settings (an improvement she needs and wants).
  • Girl Genius: The Other's agents in Paris alter the city's security to perceive the Geisterdamen as nothing but frolicking children, our heroes are unable to counter-hack it, but they do manage to alert the child-catchers.
  • Lampshaded in Intragalactic with a crude drawing in crayon taped to a security camera. "They've looped the video feed!" And then it's revealed The real feed renders as a crayon drawing too

    Web Original 
  • The Bastard Operator from Hell occasionally used the Splice and Dice method to hide his activity in the building, sometimes after the fact by editing the digitally recorded footage.
  • Job Hunters' The Caper episode had the tributes faking CCTV footage to sneak past a camera into a secure area where Tiffany, a humanoid robot, is having her memories updated.
  • In the Whateley Universe, devisors Overclock and Make attempt to assassinate most of Team Kimba during class. Turns out, that session took place in the Sims without direct supervision. They just replace what the instructors see of the Kimbas with a 30-second loop.

    Western Animation 
  • Wade uses these to hide Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable from various cameras and security devices.
  • In Odd Job Jack, Bobby and Leo break into a vault and replace a security camera's footage with a loop of a break in from a movie. The guards notice immediately, but don't care because the actress has such a nice butt.
  • Spoofed by The Penguins of Madagascar, "Tangled in the Web": instead of a Polaroid, they use a crudely drawn sketch on lined paper.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls (1998), the opening scenes of "Monkey See, Doggy Do" — and, as a result, the first scenes of the series — have Mojo Jojo doing this as one of his precautions while stealing the Anubis Head.
  • Regular Show manages to do both in one episode. When Benson installs a security camera in front of Mordecai and Rigby, they stick a bad drawing (with a talking jet) in front of it. Benson's response is to physically attach cameras to both of them. The workaround this time? Put the cameras in front of a TV showing the World Dishwashing Championships.
  • The Speed approach is parodied in The Simpsons, when Homer ditches work and feeds a loop of himself working into the security camera. The tape is absurdly out of date, showing Lenny and Carl in 1970s fashions and disco-dancing (with several jumps in the middle). Mr. Burns notices immediately, but simply remarks "It must be Friday" and starts talking to Smithers about his plans for the weekend.
    Homer: I saw this in a movie about a bus that had to speed around the city, keeping its speed over fifty, and if its speed dropped, the bus would explode! I think it was called The Bus That Couldn't Slow Down.
  • In Static Shock, when Virgil gets kidnapped by Ebon's gang, Richie has to put his new-found powers to use to break him out without letting him find out Static's secret identity. He uses the Backpack to hack into the security camera in Virgil's cell and cause the video feed to loop over and over, while Richie heads over and gives him his suit. When they come out to face Ebon, the camera footage is still rolling and he concludes that they "got the wrong guy".
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003): When the turtles infiltrate the TCRI Building, Donnie takes a photo of the area the rooftop security camera is looking at. He then tapes the photo to the camera lens.
  • Used in Transformers: Prime in the episode "Deus ex Machina," where Miko uses a picture on her cellphone's camera to fool one of the security cameras. It works, until Bumblebee gets into a fight outside, and the tremors cause the phone to shift off the camera.
  • Young Justice (2010): In "True Colors", Robin hacks the cameras so the team can infiltrate a Lexcorp agricultural facility. A battle ensues and Luthor is alerted.
    Luthor: [hearing explosions and seeing the screens show nothing out of the ordinary] Well, this placid scene is hardly likely.


Video Example(s):


KikoRiki. Team Invincible

Dokko uses camera spoofing to allow Carlin to saw through the iron grate unhindered.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / CameraSpoofing

Media sources: