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Espionage and assasssination via personal electronics?
Espionage and assasssination via personal electronics?
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Old 5th May 2012, 01:16 PM   #1
Alvis is offline Alvis
Join Date: Apr 2012
Default Espionage and assasssination via personal electronics?

You conspiracy theorists will love this.

Espionage and assassination via personal electronics?, is it possible, have you ever thought about it?

The spying part is obvious, but what about assassination?

With yet another death yesterday of a prominent advocate I can't help but wonder. (I won't mention who, to avoid getting political.)

Now given that cellphones and WiFi devices are arguably unhealthy for you the potential is there.

Case in point, you can install a firmware onto your router, say DD-WRT, that will allow you to raise the transmitting power in your device, to it's hardware limits. Couple that with a parabolic antenna, and you soon have something that you would not want to stand in front of for long periods of time, I assume you would now have exceeded "acceptable" levels of radiation.
I once made a device like this that I used briefly to gain internet access in a rural area. I figured it was safe enough when I first started the project, a router or USBstick coupled to an old directTV satellite dish did not raise any obvious concerns at first. Fortunately I don't need it now, we have a WiSP that uses the unregulated 900mhz band, I would assume that is even worse, we will keep our fingers crossed.

So do you you think entities design some devices to cause harm to specific individuals?

I am not an overly paranoid person, but the thought that a computer virus, or maliciously configured cell phone could be used as a weapon, needs to be at least considered as we move forward in this techno-global economy.

Last edited by Alvis; 5th May 2012 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 5th May 2012, 01:27 PM   #2
Alvis is offline Alvis
Join Date: Apr 2012
I might add an equal concern would be other domestic devices like Weather radar and other communications devices..

Hold your hand out in front of you, now try to imagine the amount of information is in your "empty" hand. Your hand is full of radio stations, cell phone calls and texts, 6 or 7 RADAR transmissions, even your neighbour's dirty video streams.

The point is we are bathed daily in radiation, you can't escape this forced exposure.

I like my WiFi, but when I considered going hardwired for health reasons, I realized that one cannot get away from it, even if they wanted to, short of living in a shielded house.

Now I know why those guys wear those tin foil hats.
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Old 5th May 2012, 02:25 PM   #3
simon7000 is offline simon7000  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Oakmont PA
I think you just might look good in a tin foil hat. Also try a duct tape jacket. The aluminized version of the tape. That should protect you from body zaps!

Battery life would drop to zero if a cell phone stayed at full power out for any length of time. Milliwatts at frequency severely limited by electrical skin depth are really not a serious issue.
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Old 5th May 2012, 04:58 PM   #4
DF96 is offline DF96  England
diyAudio Member
Join Date: May 2007
Mobile phones and wi-fi routers are simply not capable of producing enough power for short-term harm, whatever antenna you connect. I would have hoped that on a site like DIYaudio people would realise that.

Spying is different. I am concerned that a Chinese firm (and, of course, government controlled) may be supplying telecomms equipment to BT. I hope someone in GCHQ will check the firmware for trap doors, and then exploit them (if found)) against their originators.
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Old 5th May 2012, 06:26 PM   #5
Alvis is offline Alvis
Join Date: Apr 2012
Well it's good to know that my home built WiFi antennas are reasonably safe.
I had read somewhere to avoid exposing your eyes and genitals in front of such parabolic dishes etc. That is where I got concerned, it took the fun out of it somewhat.

The small dish with the USB dongle has the best range. The longest connection I achieved with this was ~8km line of sight. Practical day to day use is much less, around 25% of that. Still not too shabby.
This dish needs the USB connected right to your computer, so your length is limited. You can only link 2 or 3 short USB cables together.
I have had success making a weatherproof 30' cable, after a few attempts. A balloon goes around the USB dongle and connection.

The larger dish is the one with DD-WRT installed on a Linksys WRT-54g. The antenna element was replaced with a BiQuad type. A cooling fan is also added as turning up the power adds more heat, so does the sun.
It's range is not that far, less then 1km. It's advantage is it is set up as a wireless repeater station, it picks up the Wifi from a distance then routes it to multiple devices wireless.
I either run power down a long cable, or use a 12v car battery with solar charger for additional battery life. Runs for days or weeks, depending on use and weather or not the fan is on etc.
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Old 5th May 2012, 07:40 PM   #6
KBK is offline KBK  Canada
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: The Wilds Of Canada
One place that observation via cell phones can be enacted, is while charging.

Considering how many people hack these devices and search through code, I'd like to think that such tactics are not very likely, except in specific individual cases.

However, I was fully aware of 'back door' control systems being built into hardware access coding, regarding telecommunications. this, so governments, etc can access the hardware remotely in surveillance, etc.

This information, delivered as a 'matter of fact' reality from a principle design engineer for a major $XXB Telecommunications firm, back in the 90's.

This does not mean that all hardware, chip sets or individual chips are set up in any given hardware so that if they indeed did have a given 'backdoor' method of access, that this given hardware is addressable by the given in built systems that MAY be in the given chip or chipsets. We are talking about some complex chip designs, not simplistic logic systems.

I'd wager a guess that this might be more common in telecommunications hardware.

Sometimes it's in the software coding, regarding access. The software is, by far, the most likely place that such can be found.

All I know is that anyone who designs a complex software system, will generally put a backdoor access system into the coding.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." - Carl Sagan. Sometimes the claims aren't extraordinary. Sometimes the weakness of men's minds are the culprit. Mass mentality has nothing to do with obviousness or truths.

Last edited by KBK; 5th May 2012 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 5th May 2012, 08:21 PM   #7
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Join Date: May 2007
Yes, I would expect two back doors. One would be specified by the customer, to keep his security people happy. The other would be inserted by the supplier, to keep his security people happy. I hope our people find both.
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Old 5th May 2012, 09:01 PM   #8
a.wayne is offline a.wayne  United States
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Our People ... Well if you are a member of the Oligarchy ...........
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Old 5th May 2012, 09:23 PM   #9
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Fortunately not, just a loyal subject of Her Majesty.
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Old 6th May 2012, 01:16 AM   #10
Alvis is offline Alvis
Join Date: Apr 2012

In this day and age I can't help but wonder how easy it would be hide a parallel, clandestine chip, perhaps hidden in the same housing of an unsuspecting component.
A device like that could lay in the weeds until activated, turning the device into a puppet.

It's cheap (microchips) and could be easily distributed to the masses.

lol, I'm starting to sound like that guy from "Coast to Coast AM"
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