Police know what your cellphone jammer looks like

A couple interesting documents have recently appeared on Public Intelligence related to electronics hobbyists. Pictured right is a doc circulated by the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center “Radio Frequency Jammers Used to Disrupt Communication Devices“. It features one of the most widely available cellphone jammers on the market (here it is on Deal Extreme). SFPD recovered this one—it was on at the time—from a car during a drug bust. These particular units are sold with a cigarette adapter, but as the article notes, the range is only ~15 feet. With such a short range, I’m not sure what the point of using a jammer is outside of say, an elevator.

Last fall DHS circulated a warning about RF jammers with the same title. What caught my eye was their use of a picture of the Wave Bubble. Designed by ladyada, the Wave Bubble is a self-tuning, wide-bandwidth portable RF jammer. Because of the unique nature of this design, I’m almost certain no one that actually received this memo will ever see a Wave Bubble in person. They would have been better served by a picture of a commercial unit, but that wouldn’t have the sensational appeal of a device that’s concealed by a cigarette pack.

This leads to the final memo OMG ELECTRONICS IN SMALL CONTAINERS by the Washington Regional Threat and Analysis Center’s cut and paste division. It features the Wave Bubble again, then an Altoids tin, and finally an IED mockup. I think this is silly: The Wave Bubble is a rare threat. The IED is a mockup and probably doesn’t do any more damage than a similarly sized derringer. Finally, the Altoids tin IS A HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER. So, watch out folks, some things, that could be evil, are smaller than other things, which are not evil, BE VIGILANT! I guess we’re lucky they used the image of the less common round Altoids tin than the rectangular ones most hackers are using. The newsletter is also good if you want to read about dry ice bombs and Juggalos.


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