Snowden spycraft: a fridge is a Faraday cage | Wifi Walker, J B Chaparal Properties

Snowden spycraft: a fridge is a Faraday cage

NSA leaker Edward Snowden asked reporters who visited him in Hong Kong to put their phones in his room’s refrigerator, relying on a fridge’s element properties to offer as an unconsidered radio-wave-spoiling Faraday cage.

  • From a article: “A loyal Faraday enclosing is a space where radio waves can't pass and therefore information can't be transmitted.”

    Well that’s usually not true. Data delivery isn’t reliant on radio waves. Even with a totally sealed-off enclosing (rather than a mesh) we could broadcast information around sound.

    •  you can broadcast information around usually about anything, yet phones DON’T do that. and sound doesnt get out of a fridge unequivocally well.

      • Travels good adequate to daub out some Morse formula – that’s all a information delivery we need.

        • I theory I’ll keep that in mind if we ever need to promulgate with someone sitting directly subsequent to a Faraday cage.

      • Especially once a atmosphere runs out …

  • So, a NSA can find out where his fridge is at.

  • I used to work for a tiny association that got acquired by Cisco. Before they built us a correct cage, we attempted regulating a rolling record cupboard to retard out Wi-Fi signals, yet they would still trickle through. The genuine enclosing was done of copper filigree that was grounded by thick wire, and a doorway that hermetic with steel hit to a frame, and was rated to a vigilance dump of 90dB IIRC.
    I’m guessing a fridge would substantially work improved than an unwarranted record cabinet. Easy adequate to exam we guess.

    • Indeed, this needs to be tested.

      It’s substantially not a loyal Faraday cage, yet works good adequate during restraint dungeon phone signals.

      •  Send it to mythbusters.

    • I’ve seen dungeon signals trickle by safeguarded enclosures that were built for a purpose of gripping them out.  But refrigerators seem to have a few things going opposite them: power cord and condensor coils yield probable paths for vigilance to leak, even if they weren’t done of cosmetic (in whole or part) with rubber seals.  

      My theory is a fridge essentially defends opposite eavesdropping on a essence of their conversation.  The phones could have already been tracked to a house.

      • Yes, it’s utterly probable that a refrigerator’s sound-proofing is a some-more useful factor.

      • He was staying in a hotel that netizens IDed from a flare in a credentials of photographs.

  • This is because we don’t like phones yet removable batteries. Well, one of a reasons.  🙂

    • Apple is stupid.  My android phones have removable batteries.

      • Yes, yet how thick and complicated are they?


        tl;dr android phones that are thin/light are mostly a same nowadays

        Also, we can mislay iphone batteries:$8/

        $8 and 20 minutes.

        • I don’t unequivocally get that. My universe II S is skinny and light — thinner and lighter than an iPhone — and it has a removable battery.

          The genuine problem, IMO, is illustrated in a associated article:

          In impassioned cases when a battery weakens or dies, people can extend a
          phone’s lifespan by swapping in a new battery they bought online or

          This competence be loyal for someone who usually has to have a latest phone whenever it comes out, yet we tend to use record until it no longer works. My Mp3 player? altered a battery twice so far. My final phone (before a galaxy) we had for about 8 years.

          Quotes like a above usually bug me. They usually assume I, and everybody else, is so heaviliy shabby by selling that of course we’ll get new phones when a marketers tell us it’s time.

          • thinner and lighter than an iPhone

            That’s debatable:


            I tend to use record until it no longer works

            Once again, we can reinstate a iPhone battery for 8 bucks and ~20 mins of your time. It kills a warranty, yet by a time you’re doing that, a guaranty is already on a approach out anyway.

            And, it’s not usually about being lighter and thinner…

            More from a essay we already associated to in my prior post:

            ” … In fact, when we don’t have to pattern a product around popping out a battery, we have distant some-more options. Engineers can use batteries in shapes, sizes, and configurations that broach a claim assign yet are unreal to remove. That, in turn, can concede a industrial engineer to emanate phones with artistic contours.
            Motorola positively agrees. Manipulating a smartphone’s figure and distance was a good suspicion and fulfilment with a Droid Razr; a superskinny superphone measures rebate than 0.3 in. thick. … ”

            ” … Embedded batteries are also harder to mislay and rebate expected to means damage, given there’s customarily no doorway to cocktail off when we dump a phone. More than that, sealing a behind cover means you’re safeguarding a internals from a elements, that could make a phone some-more rugged. … ”

            And, once again, behind to a point, it’s not usually Apple doing it. Many complicated Android phones are a same approach for several reasons as shown above.

          • There is apparently something being traded off for consumer battery removability.

            With a iphones, that are apparently not rarely optimized for price, that is certain to be mostly size/weight/shape/battery capacity/physical strength.

            Just watch one of those teardown videos of an ipad or iphone and review with all a infrastructure associated to battery dismissal in your device.

          • something being traded off for consumer battery removability.

            Once again, it’s pardonable to reinstate a battery on a iPhone. Granted, it’s positively not scarcely as discerning as giving it a induce to mislay it from, yet it’s not soldered within it possibly in a counsel try to keep it from being replaced. 8 bucks and 20 mins isn’t an impassioned jump to many.

        • The girls like it thick and heavy!

          • So do a boys.

  • Easy adequate to test.  I usually done a call and put my phone in a fridge for a while.  Didn’t dump a call.


    I think he was usually banking on a fridge being comparatively soundproof.

    • Works on books?

      •  I adore that. It’s a earthy illustration of putting a thought/concept on ice so he doesn’t have to understanding with it right away

    • I’m flattering certain Snowden incited a phones off before putting them in a fridge.  Try replicating that with your test.

      Also, not all fridges are alike.  Some have rebate steel than others. Also, subsequent time call your phone and let it go to voicemail and hang it in there and see if it can record your voice.

  • I’d review that a x-ray oven works, as it’s whole MO is to enclose it’s namesake (and one assumes a satisfactory volume of a rest of a electromagnetic spectrum,) yet we reckon folks would frustrate during putting their gadgets in a x-ray over a fridge.  or maybe he usually didn’t get one in his hotel room.  Mr. Schenck raises a good point, a essay whiffed a loyal definition.  yet as distant as Mr. Snowden was concerned, any pier in a storm, eh?

    • it does draw a right frequencies, during least, yet i dunno if i’d count on it if a feds were after me. to make a x-ray protected we usually need to cut out many of a energy, yet to get absolved of a vigilance we need to expostulate it next a sound floor.

      a improved suspicion competence be to cut out a protecting grilles and spin on a garland of microwaves to jam a signal. (note: not indeed a good idea. do not attempt.)

      •  This is a improved use for your microwave:

    • Just attempted that one too.  Microwave didn’t stop a call either.

      • guess that’s what we get for repeating something that I’d “read somewhere.”

        • I suspicion that those anti-static bags mechanism tools come in were ostensible to work. Just stranded my phone in one and a vigilance stayed strong.

          • the compulsory record is famous to some:

            like cegev said, we usually need a lot of foil. keep in mind, even shortening vigilance to 1/10000th of a energy is usually a 40dB reduction. wiring are intensely sensitive; we need closer to 100dB, i.e. shortening a vigilance to underneath one-billionth.

          • I was meditative about a aged foil pretence once cegev mentioned that.  that was something I’d “read somewhere” that indeed worked.  and worked, and worked.  man, we was a knucklehead in a 90s.

      • Try branch a x-ray on.

        • that usually works if we hang it in foil first

      •  My bedroom would seem to work fine, as my phone stops operative a notation we put it on a goddamn bedside table…

      • Huh, that’s interesting. Do we know what rope your phone operates in?  1900, 2100, 700mhz, etc.

        When integrating blackberry into my companies network (cellular provider)  we had to run a battery of tests, forsaken call, send a text, afterwards go out of coverage, roaming, etc. we used a x-ray oven and it worked perfectly. Since they use emr in a x-ray band, they are safeguarded to strengthen we from it.

        Hmm, an forward chairman would make tiny farraday cages folks could by and know a bands it blocks……

        • It’s a Droid Bionic on Verizon. Google says 800 and 1900 MHz CDMA.

  • “Inadvertent” is not right; in this box a properties of a fridge were used intentionally. The common thing is to mislay a batteries, though. we suppose that while a vigilance would indeed be safeguarded if active phones were placed inside, to some slight border a enclosing competence itself act as antenna, despite with enormously reduced gain.

  • I theory if anyone had a vigilant of eavesdropping he/she wouldn’t rest only on a cellphone. 

    I listened that a famous Brazilian senator used to have tip meetings in his pool. The “guest” had to frame down and get in a H2O for a chat.

    •  Perhaps he usually favourite to hang out in a pool, certainly a long-range directional mike would be useful?

      • Mansions in Brazil have high fences, doubtful to concede a line of steer for a mike.

        The man was unequivocally a limb (dead now).

  • When we had problems with division for one plan we worked on, we succeeded in regulating a problem by usually jacket it in some-more and some-more aluminium foil. 

    This appears to also work for murdering mobile phone signals. A sufficient volume of aluminium foil wrapped around a phone will effectively kill signals. In contrast this usually now with my Nexus 4 and an area with a clever signal, one retard feet of foil, giving around one layer, did not forestall calls or GApps toll signal, yet 3 retard feet, giving around 3 or 4 layers, did do so unequivocally effectively.

    This seems most easier and most some-more secure than regulating a refrigerator, though, as noted, if Snowden was observant this yet indeed wanted them in a fridge to forestall recording, some other process would be needed.

    •  I gamble we that Tinfoil works 🙂

  • (begins shopping shares in companies that build walk-in refrigerators)

  • A fridge is a bad Faraday cage, I’m certain he was regulating it usually to retard a phones microphone, it doesn’t make any clarity to try and retard a phones vigilance when we could retard a microphone.

    • Indeed. Also, no active tie is compulsory for a bug: a contributor is frequency going to leave their phone behind when they depart, and if a phone had been recording all it could always bond once a contributor has retrieved it, and a phone could afterwards send on a recordings. I’m certain it contingency have been a approach to safeguard that nobody was regulating their phone to record tools of a assembly not concluded to be recorded, or it could even have been a prevision opposite a fear phones could be hacked to record conversations yet their owners’ believe or permission.

  • should have gotten one of these:

  • OMFG Snowden was in HONG KONG. A outing to any wiring store would concede him to buy one of these:

  • I don’t remember this being one of le Carré’s “Moscow rules”. Tradecraft has clearly come a prolonged way.

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