Security camera fixed on the wall, above it wifi symbol illustration, blurred image background looking like living room

Tech-savvy burglaries have been making headlines in Minnesota's quiet town of Edina. A string of break-ins linked to the use of Wi-Fi jammers to disable home security systems has spotlighted the increasing sophistication of digital criminals.

Despite Minnesota's relatively low profile in the tech landscape, this rising incidence of this crime trend serves as a stark reminder for homeowners everywhere of the urgency of robust security measures. Read this article to learn how it works and how to beware.

The Underlying Modus Operandi

In six months, Edina Police have connected nine burglaries to the use of Wi-Fi jammers. They are used to prevent the capture of video evidence by incapacitating home security systems.

The suspected pattern of these crimes includes:

  • targeting affluent neighborhoods;
  • observing residential properties meticulously before striking;
  • avoiding face-to-face confrontations, and hence waiting for the homes to be vacant;
  • deploying Wi-Fi jammers to disrupt home security systems; and
  • stealing high-value items like safeties, jewelry, and designer goods.

Contrary to common belief, Wi-Fi jammers do not block wireless signals. As experts explain, these devices overwhelm wireless devices by congesting the airwaves, effectively preventing legitimate traffic from getting through.

An Accessible Rising Trend

Over the past few years, numerous cases of using Wi-Fi jammers in burglaries have been reported, with the frequency increasing. Even major home security product manufacturers like Ring, Blink (Amazon), and Nest (Google) are not immune to these wireless signal jamming attacks.

The accessibility and affordability of Wi-Fi jammers are cause for concern. Despite their use being illegal in the U.S., these devices are readily available online, priced between $ 40 and $ 1,000.

Home Security Reinforcement Strategies

To protect their homes against such advanced attacks, homeowners are advised to:

  • Hardwire some of their devices;
  • Locally store security footage;
  • Use smart home technology to simulate an occupied house and deter burglars; and
  • Explore device settings to enable alerts for signal or connection disruptions.

The importance of vigilance in the digital age only increases with such cases. Equipping homes with robust security measures and staying informed about potential risks may be a form of precaution. After all, it seems vigilance is the new requirement for home safety in the 21st century.