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Clever Thieves Using WiFi Jammers to Shut Down Those Crappy Security Cameras You Bought on Amazon

Disarmed and Confused

The Los Angeles Police Department is warning residents that burglars are using WiFi jammers to easily disarm "connected" surveillance cameras and alarms that are available for cheap on marketplaces like Amazon.

As LA-based news station KTLA5 reports, tech-savvy burglars have been using WiFi jammers, which are small devices that can confuse and overload wireless devices with traffic, to enter homes without setting off alarms — a worrying demonstration of just how easily affordable home security devices from the likes of Ring and Eufy can be disarmed.

Internet of Thieves

As Tom's Hardware reported last month, instances of WiFi jammers being used by criminals go back several years. Jammers are not only easily available to purchase online, they're also pretty cheap and can go for as little as $40.

That's despite their use technically being illegal in the US.

"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," a 2020 alert by the Federal Communication Commission reads.

Those warnings, however, have seemingly fallen on deaf ears. Last month, police in Minnesota found that a string of nine robberies over a period of six months involved WiFi jammers. Fortunately, the burglars remained nonviolent, prioritizing homes that sat unoccupied.

In response to the latest instances, the LAPD is recommending that homeowners hardwire their alarm systems instead of relying on WiFi, and to ensure their properties are well-lit at night.

The LAPD is also advising to make sure nobody knows you're leaving your home for prolonged periods of time.

More on burglaries: Study Finds That Police “Crime Predicting” AI Fails Miserably at Predicting Crimes