Burglars using jammers to disable wireless smart home security

After a series of robberies in Edina, Minneapolis, police suspect that burglars are using WiFi jammers to block off security system signals such as wireless security cameras, KARE 11, the local television station, has reported. The jammers can also disable door, window, and motion sensors.


“It’s believed the burglars are not violent and tend to choose unoccupied houses,” the police’s report reads.

At the city safety meeting on January 31st, residents warned about the burglars using WiFi jammers to impact security systems, especially surveillance cameras.

Many home security devices connect directly to the WiFi network or a smart home hub using radio frequencies such as 2.4 GHz. Their signal strength is limited and is susceptible to interference.

Jammers can overpower signals from security devices by sending a “loud” noise in the same range of frequencies. For receivers, it’s then impossible to distinguish between the genuine signals and the disruptive noise generated by the jammers.

The use of jammers in the United States is banned by the Federal Communications Commission, as they can prevent people from making 911 and other emergency calls, pose serious risks to public safety communications, and interfere with other forms of day-to-day communications.

“The use of a phone jammer, GPS blocker, or other signal jamming device designed to intentionally block, jam, or interfere with authorized radio communications is a violation of federal law,” the FCC said in an alert.


Yet, the jammers can be bought online, usually from suppliers outside the US, and their price ranges depending on their power, usually between $40 to $1,000, KARE 11 reported.

Wired security devices, relying on physical connections, are generally less sensitive to outside interference. However, cables may also be sabotaged. Users may also check if their smart home solution allows alerts when signals or connections are interrupted.

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