The President of the Police Inspectorate of England and Wales suggested in an interview that wifi jammer – devices worn on the ankle or wrist to block the Internet – could be better punished as prison than cybercrime. “We have to stop using 19th century punishments to deal with 21st century crimes,” he said.
“Although we urgently need alternatives to prison, it’s not technically impossible and unreliable not to use wireless jamming equipment,” said Cal Leeming, who went to prison as a teenager and works as a security advisor. “Even if you were able to implement it without breaking the connection nearby, which in itself would be very difficult because the radio works, it could easily be bypassed with a cable.”
Networks can be jammed by flooding the AP with deauthentication frames in a so-called deauth attack. Assuming the identity (MAC address) of a station in the network, the AP will re-authenticate the real station. The real station will then try to re-authenticate, but it will never succeed due to our blocking of deauth frames and its network access will be effectively blocked.
To be very clear, it’s wrong to call this technique jamming, but that hasn’t prevented a number of developers from using the term, so we’ll only play along for the sake of consistency. To properly interfere with WiFi (or any other type of radio communication), you basically blast a lot of random noise on the frequencies that the technology uses. It’s conceptually very simple, but it’s also a very big violation of our friends at the Federal Communications Commission; So it’s not something you don’t do with consumer WiFi hardware.
Since high power jammer is out of the question at the hardware level, some developers have found a way to block WLAN communication in software. This is more like a denial-of-service attack, in which tools are used repeatedly to repeatedly spam authentication packets at WLAN access points and clients, forcing them to disconnect. With the appropriate software and a powerful WLAN adapter that supports packet injection, an attacker can stifle legitimate communication.
In any case, the measure will soon be implemented in the UK. At this point, it is anticipated that cybercrime will continue to be controlled in the UK.