Wi-Fi jamming to knock out cameras suspected in nine Minnesota burglaries — smart security systems vulnerable as tech becomes cheaper and easier to acquire

A serial burglar in Edina, Minnesota is suspected of using a Wi-Fi jammer to knock out connected security cameras before stealing and making off with the victim’s prized possessions. Minnesota doesn’t generally have a reputation as a hotbed for technology, so readers shouldn’t be surprised to hear that reports of Wi-Fi jammers used to assist burglaries in the U.S. go back several years. PSA: even criminals use technology, and more are now catching on — so homeowners should think about mitigations.

Edina police suspect that nine burglaries in the last six months have been undertaken with Wi-Fi jammer(s) deployed to ensure incriminating video evidence wasn’t available to investigators. The modus operandi of the thief or thieves is thought to be something like this:

  • Homes in affluent areas are found
  • Burglars carefully watch the homes
  • The burglars avoid confrontation, so appear to wait until homes are empty
  • Seizing the opportunity of an empty home, the burglars will deploy Wi-Fi jammer(s)
  • “Safes, jewelry, and other high-end designer items,” are usually taken

A security expert interviewed by the source publication, KARE11, explained that the jammers simply confused wireless devices rather than blocking signals. They usually work by overloading wireless traffic “so that real traffic cannot get through,” the news site was told.

(Image credit: Ring)

Jamming wireless security devices is a growing trend