Although the digital world has given us a life of convenience and speed, it’s important to remember that your data and privacy is vulnerable now more than ever. The security cameras in your home that are designed to protect you can even end up compromising your home and loved ones.
Yes, you heard that right—you need to protect your security cameras from attackers. Modern thieves now know how to hack CCTV cameras, making them terrifying to deal with. These attackers are called camera jammers, who disrupt the functions of security cameras for data breaches and have other ill-intentions.
Hearing about camera jamming for the first time can make you doubt your wireless camera system, but we’ve done extensive research to ensure that you’re safe and sound. This guide contains a discussion on camera jamming, the steps you can take to prevent it, how to protect your camera, and everything else you need to know when it comes to camera jamming.
Never let camera jamming catch you unaware—study this guide carefully:
What Is Camera Jamming?
Camera jamming (or jamming), pertains to a process that prevents electronics from communication within a wireless security system. Your WiFi camera light, for instance, may end up not working after being jammed. This is because jamming devices interfere with your signal, suppressing it so you can no longer use it. These jamming devices are also known as signal suppressors, disruptors, or scramblers, but most people often simply call them jammers.
Camera signal jammers are designed to function at the frequency of the device it wishes to affect, causing the operation to be disrupted at a particular location. In this context, your security camera can end up being compromised, especially if it relies solely on a WiFi signal.
Given the intricacy of the process, someone performing jamming on a wireless security camera must have the skill and the proper equipment to do so. Take note that jamming requires a device that transmits data on a specific frequency, which should be strong enough to block out the usual frequency your wireless system operates in.
Although terrifying in theory, remember that you can prevent it from happening if you’re equipped with the proper knowledge.
How To Jam Wireless Security Cameras
Can wired security cameras be hacked? As previously mentioned, camera jammers detect wireless signals transmitting specific frequencies. They then override and block them, which effectively compromises your security cameras. However, there is more than one way to do this.
First, you will want to understand how it happens, including how someone can overpower your device’s frequency. This can be done through something small like a walkie-talkie. A person can use a wide variety of frequencies, including the commonly used 433MHz. Since this device can transmit a large amount of power, it can overpower your camera’s frequency and effectively jam it.
Way #1: Camera Jamming By Blocking Radio Signals
Camera jamming can happen by blocking radio signals or frequencies. When it comes to this method, you first need to create an imaginary wall between the control panel and the camera. This imaginary wall will make sure that all signals can be blocked.
This trick usually works on Eufy and Arlo security cameras, where attackers cut off communication with the Homebase hub. However, remember that blocking radio signals can only block security cameras with the same radio signal. It also needs to be strong enough to overpower the actual camera, which will likely require the use of a camera interference device.
For this reason, it’s essential to know what frequency your wireless surveillance camera is operating at. Most devices on the market come at 433MHz or 2.4GHz, including car remotes, two-way radios, light dimmers, and of course, your CCTV.
Way #2: Camera Jamming By Cutting Off Power
When it comes to jamming plug-in cameras, an attacker must effectively cut off the power. This can be done by either plugging it off the socket or cutting the cable, causing the camera to shut down.
However, most modern cameras comewith backup battery power storage. Regardless of whether you’re using a wireless NVR system or a standalone WiFi camera, you may want to invest in one that offers a battery feature just in case you fall prey to camera jamming by power cutoffs.
Can All Security Cameras Be Jammed?
To answer this question, we’ve got to know the two different ways security cameras are connected. Security cameras can either be connected wirelessly or via wires. Here’s how their connectivity makes a difference when it comes to camera jamming.
Wired Security Cameras
Wired security cameras send and receive signals over the cable, meaning they can be tampered with by cutting the cable or compromising the equipment it operates in.
This prevents the camera from running, allowing thieves to roam around your property. When this happens, you’ll not only need to spend money to replace the items you’ve lost during a break in, but you’ll also have to spend on repairing or replacing your compromised security system.
Thankfully, the easiest way to prevent this from happening is by purchasing a camera with a battery feature. This way, when your wires are cut, your cameras can still continue recording.
Wireless Security Cameras
Wireless security cameras are more protected than wired ones. An attacker or thief cannot simply cut off wires or unplug the device, but unfortunately, a wireless device’s strength can also be its weakness.
A wireless security camera can be jammed, provided that the attacker uses the right camera blocking technology or disabler. As a result, your security camera can effectively be blocked from recording data, enabling two-way audio, and operating as a whole.
Thankfully, it’s not as simple as it sounds. The attacker will need to know what kind of security camera they’re dealing with. They also need to be well informed on the actual system they are trying to infiltrate. For instance, they will need to learn exactly how to jam a Blink camera.
To prevent such attacks, you will want to install extra authentication measures. In addition to protecting your security camera system, keep in mind that your WiFi connection may also be at stake from being hacked. For comprehensive security protection, make sure to protect not only your camera, but your entire WiFi system from being disrupted by attackers.
How Do I Know If Someone Is Jamming My Security Cameras?
Try as we might, it can be challenging to know when your security camera is in the process of being jammed. Detecting jamming needs advanced algorithms that detect certain signals, alerting users when interference happens.
Most security cameras sold in the market aren’t equipped with such measures, and you’ll only know something’s up once your camera loses internet connection or stops working altogether. It’s important to keep in mind that these factors could also mean other things, such as issues from either your CCTV service provider or internet company.
If you’re looking for another method to know if your camera is being jammed, the only way you can tell is to listen to an interference generator. By monitoring your security camera’s location, you’ll be able to detect a “noise level” that could imply that an interference generator is near.
The noise level we’re talking about here isn’t an audible sound, though! Although not audible, the noise pertains to the outside signal strength of your wireless camera, usually appearing as dBm (decibel-milliwatt) on the screen. It’s also measured from 0 to -100; the higher the number, the higher the noise interference. And this could mean that someone nearby could be trying to jam your security camera.
Is Camera Jamming Legal?
Camera jamming is illegal as a consumer activity or use, especially since you’re expected to use jamming equipment that is also considered illegal. The camera jamming process applies only to federal law enforcement use and can only be permitted under limited circumstances.
Private citizens are strictly prohibited from using any type of jamming equipment, but keep in mind that other government entities worldwide allow jammers to be installed in specific locations. This is only plausible if smartphones, CCTV, and other devices have become a nuisance in public, potentially interfering with radio signals, airplane communication, emergency calls, and other instances that may threaten public safety.
What Should You Do If You Suspect Someone Is Jamming Your Security Cameras?
It needs to be said—there’s little to no way you can completely thwart someone from jamming your security camera as it is happening. The best thing you can do is to be one step ahead to try and prevent it from ever happening.
The use of jammers and interference generators are punishable by law. If you see and catch someone doing it to a friend or neighbor, report them to the authorities immediately. You can trust that others will be doing the same for you.
Take no chances if you suspect that someone might be using, marketing, selling, importing, or simply expressing interest in illegal signal interference generators. File a complaint with Federal Communications as soon as feasible. Here’s how:
- Step 1: Contact the Enforcement Bureau.
- Step 2: Map out the date and time of the incident. If it happens more than once, be prepared to provide the authorities with the exact timeline.
- Step 3: If you can, provide a retailer name or website.
- Step 4: Send over a copy of evidence materials, including listings, advertisements, and actual photos of the scene if applicable.
- Step 5: Be prepared to send out a statement of facts, including the person’s name selling or operating the illegal device. If you can’t, don’t worry. Authorities will likely come and investigate.
The thought of falling prey to a camera jammer can be terrifying, especially if you rely on your security cameras for an additional layer of protection. It can be worrying, but keep in mind that jamming is a complex process that requires extensive research, including understanding how your entire security system works, getting into your WiFi connectivity, tampering with wires, and so much more.
More importantly, the law is always on your side. There’s more than one way you can keep your home protected, and all you need is ample preparation. That said, make sure to always keep this guide in mind.