I personally haven’t researched this much but I do know that the potential penalties for using such a device in the US would be quite severe. It would make a simple burglary which is handled at the local level into a federal offense. As a criminal, you REALLY don’t want to deal with the federal courts.
I’m not certain that simple possession of such of a device is illegal, but using it would be a violation of federal law and will be very expensive, punishable with steep fines and potential jail time. Using it in the commission of a crime makes the punishment really severe.
So, in the US at least, as a criminal I would either have to be ignorant (which isn’t outside the realm of the possible) or I would not risk taking something that would be a few years in state prison or jail and turn it into 10-15 in a federal prison.
Markus’s also has a good point. The jammer would only be effective if the criminals know you are using wireless sensors and exclusively wireless sensors. At that point, they are a motivated threat and will likely find a way past your sensors either way. On the other hand, if someone puts a SimpliSafe sign in their window, then they do know that your security system is wireless.
I’m not saying that jammers can’t be used. But I don’t think it is as simple as the average corner thug carrying this thing around and now they know they are safe. It would be an interesting research project. I’ve not seen anything in the press and trade publications that I follow that indicate it is a serious threat in the US yet. It is interesting that it is a problem in England.
Now, what IS a threat in the US that I’ve read a vit about are signal boosters for keyless entry keyfobs. They come by your house, boost the signal from your keyfob in the house or in your pocket, unlock the door and drive away.
It will never be 100% reliable so such a goal is somewhat self-defeating. What is a better goal is to provide a system with mitigations for when there is a failure. You will always have failures and you will always have to deal with them. So you need a fallback mitigation anyway. If your mitigation is good enough, it doesn’t matter if your sensors are only 90% reliable.
For example, a mitigation could be if enough sensors go offline simply treat that as an alarm event itself. The biggest challenge with that is avoiding too many false alarms for the usual reasons. Another mitigation can be putting valuables in a safe, insurance that covers theft, etc.
Note that using wired sensors is a mitigation for the potential for wireless sensors to be jammed. But wired sensors are expensive to install so the cost needs to me weighted against the actual risk posed by jammers. For you Vincent, the risk is somewhat high. For me, the risk is pretty low.
Risk = likelihood a threat will exploit a vulnerability * impact if they are successful
Mitigations are ways to further reduce the impact and impact is best represented as money.
The total cost of your mitigations must be less than the Risk itself or else you are wasting money.
In your environment, the Risk is likely high enough that it is worth the cost of using wireless.
In my environment, the suburbs of a city in the US with one of the lowest crime rates where the use of these types of jammers is highly illegal the Risk is pretty low. Everyone needs to assess the Risk based on their particular environment.
That’s an interesting idea. I wonder if one could use an SDR to look for a strong signal in the jammer ranges you care about. If the signal is strong enough you can assume it is a jammer and send an alert (wired obviously ). @luckymallari, you have some experience with SDR, would something like this be feasible? I know just enough about radios to be dangerous but it seems to me we wouldn’t need to decode any actual information, just look for powerful signals in certain bands or frequencies.