Signal jamming


#1

I am looking into the use of ST as an alarm system (as well as other smart home things). I wonder - and have not been able to find on this forum or the internet - how the ST hub and periferals it works with avoid that the wifi signal they use is jammed. Does it have any anti-jamming measures?

Thanks for helping me decide!


(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #2

First of all most devices use Zigbee or Zwave radios, different then WiFi.

If a jammer were able to block the specific frequencies of the radios, then the devices would fall off the network.

There is no reasonable way to overcome this.

But the realities of a powerful enough signal jammer to sustain blocking all devices on a zigbee mesh or zwave or even wifi spectrum are difficult to pull off.

Proximity to the hub is the most critical element, but also the distance to each device.

Ultimately, if a jammer were deployed, it would drop the devices off the mesh, until the jammer stopped working, or the signal strength RSI, etc wasn’t strong enough to overcome the transmit radio.

Thankfully ST does have a hub disconnect notification, so you would know if the internet was cut, but there is no really good mechanism for a device falling off the network notification.

It would be easier to just cut the network connection to the house, or even power. Or just kick in the front door or break a window.

Every security system is vulnerable to many attack vectors no way to overcome this. Locks keep honest people out.


(Geko) #3

There’s no such measures used in any consumer electronic devices. Any “wireless” security system that uses RF sensors, as well as your WiFi router can be jammed. If jamming is a concern, then your only option is a wired security system connected to a phone line or a wired Ethernet.


(Scott G) #4

He might be referring to what is mentioned in the below article. It claims that companies like Simplisafe and Frontpoint use software to detect intentional jamming and trigger a push alert to the homeowner. Pretty similar to the ST hub’s disconnect notification.

In general I agree with both @pstuart and @geko though. The ease of jamming the signal is not trivial, and where it exists, it exists for all wireless security systems. ST might have a small advantage if your devices are a mix of Zigbee and Zwave, since they would need jammers for multiple frequencies.


(Geko) #5

Good point from the article:

The odds of a criminal using technical means to bypass a security system are so small that the FBI doesn’t even track those statistics.


#6

Many thanks for your replies. I am (slightly) more comfortable now!
John


(Sean) #7

I would be more concerned about the cable feeding your house that runs your internet modem. someone will cut that before they try jamming rf. most homes have the entry riser at the side of the house where the hydro meter comes in.


(Paolo) #8

I’ve the same concern and I wonder if there is some way to poll the devices and to know if they are still connected. That should be useful also to check if all the devices are still working (or do you have to check manually every device?)


#9

#10

we’ve lost the bleeps, we’ve lost the creeps and we’ve lost the sweeps


(sidjohn1) #11

Yes, you can write a smartapp to do that.


(Eric) #12

sorry to wake an old thread but as a point of clarification, in my experience, most “jamming” is accidental. It does happen in the burglar system domain by a sensor/transmitter malfunctioning to transmit continuously. Normally it only transmits intermittently.

Accidental or not, it is good for the panel/hub/receiver to send a notification of jamming.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #13

RF Jamming is back in the news.

It would be helpful if SmartThings would report loss of signal to help alert a customer of a potential attack…


Zigbee security
(Daniel Lo) #14

It’s getting a bit more common place, for cars and such.