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RF jamming

(also radio frequency jamming)

RF jamming definition

RF jamming, also known as radio frequency jamming, is the deliberate interference or disruption of wireless communication signals using radio frequency signals of similar frequencies. RF jamming involves sending out radio waves to disrupt or block the normal functioning of wireless devices.

RF jamming can be used for various purposes, both malicious and non-malicious. For example, government agencies may use RF jamming to disrupt enemy communications during a conflict. However, malicious parties can use it to hinder communication and carry out illegal activities.

How RF jamming works

  • The party wishing to perform radio jamming (e.g., hacker or law enforcement agents) acquires a transmitter that can operate on the same frequency as the recipient of the signal they want to jam.
  • The party adjusts the transmitter's settings to match the frequency and modulation used by the target communication system.
  • They boost the power of the transmitter’s signal to the level that masks the original frequency, interrupting communication.
  • The receiver — the device or system meant to receive and decode the transmitted signal — detects the presence of interference caused by the jamming.
  • When the signal is jammed, the receiver picks up unusual sounds such as hisses, pulses, distorted speech, or other strange noises. These are indicators that the communication has been disrupted.