Cyber Security Expo
Radio Frequency Interference and its Use as a Weapon by Helen Gantt on 16/08/06

Radio frequency is a type of electric current on a wireless network, which emits an electromagnetic field when alternating current is applied to an antenna. Similar to waves that result from a rock thrown into water, radio waves are altered when obstructions appear, and may reflect or scatter for example, depending on their interactions with each other. (Shimonski, 2002) Wave fronts are generated when the waves become reflected. So from a receiver’s perspective, the wave fronts may be in or out of phase with the main signal as they reach the receiver at different times. If the peak of one wave is added to the peak of another, they are in phase and the wave will be amplified. If the peak of one wave comes in contact with the valley of another, they are out of phase, and the wave is eliminated.

Radio Frequency Interference occurs “when a signal radiated by a transmitter is picked up by an electronic device in such a manner that it prevents the clear reception of another and desired signal or causes malfunction of some other electronic device (not simply a radio or television receiver).” (Brock, Fall 1998) RFI can be induced intentionally, or unintentionally.

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