I am interested in installing a security camera in my car, but I am worried about an adversary gaining physical access to the camera, and destroying the footage; leaving me with no evidence. Unfortunately, I can't just lock the security camera DVR in a room, like I could with a building. Uploading the data to a server would work, but if there's no service (or IMSI catchers, jammers, etc.) my footage is gone. So, how would I go about protecting the footage from an adversary with physical access, while optimally not using the Internet? I intend to use a Raspberry Pi with the camera, but solutions don't need to match my hardware and OS.

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    Without knowing the hardware, we can only suggest very general solutions. In general, you need to offload the data to a secondary location, either outside the car or within (hide the drive). – schroeder Feb 13 '15 at 20:26
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    It all depends on your budget. You can use physical cables wherein breakage triggers an alarm, a SATCOM terminal, spread-spectrum transmission, or a host of other techniques... – Deer Hunter Feb 13 '15 at 20:36
  • Actually, when the network isn't available the footage isn't gone, it's just that new footage won't be uploaded until the network comes back online. A solution using multiple computers (for redundancy) hidden throughout the car, with their own power source (rechargeable battery lasting half an hour for all the footage to be uploaded even once the main car electrical system is dead) that record both locally, stream in real-time and upload the locally-saved footage once the network comes back up after a connection failure could be good enough. – user42178 Feb 25 '15 at 4:19

Are you sure physical access to the camera is your biggest concern here? I mean, if a thief breaks into your car, are you more worried he will see the security camera (and breaks it) or that your complete car will be gone? Besides using RF technologies (cellular networks being the most easy, common, and cheap) there is no way of securing the camera footage externally.

I would go for a more common GPS tracker, which activated by movement (geofencing), and reports back its coordinates through SMS. You can buy these for just 30 or so dollars, and can be easily installed in such a way no one would notice (especially not by a regular thief who's in a hurry to move a stolen car).


I think that your best option here is to have the entire setup hidden, the camera, the Pi and any other devices you add on. Hiding it will help keep it from being tampered with and the storage intact without trying to worry about a data signal wherever you park.

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    ...which is security by obscurity and doesn't address the issue. – Deer Hunter Feb 13 '15 at 20:37
  • @DeerHunter You can prevent or at least delay the attack by putting the storage under the floor lining, or behind the dash around/in/behind the firewall. You could also have a big alarm going off while they are trying to get to the storage, ideally with the speaker right where their head is when they are fumbling behind the dash. – pilkch Feb 27 '17 at 4:00

You could have a secondary hidden raspberry pi connected to a drive in the car. Then send the data through a wireless connection from one raspberry pi to the other. However, once they have physical access, its game over as they can do anything to the car and the items inside.

  • I was thinking along the same lines. Ultimately if physical access needs to be prevented, then the storage needs to be placed in a non-accessible enclosure. The term non-accessible is pretty case specific, depending on which tools the intruder has brought with them. For the majority of scenarios, that just means something with a lock on it. But then you have to consider can the enclosure itself be removed? Perhaps it needs to be secured to the metal? And so on.. – krb686 Feb 15 '15 at 15:44
  • When I read this yesterday, I thought of a locked container welded or bolted to a structural part of the car. Upload the contents to a remote server every time a suitable connection is available. (If the camera itself can be located, it can be disabled with a squirt of spray paint, so I haven't worried very much about protecting cables.) – Bob Brown Feb 15 '15 at 20:30

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