Wi-Fi criminals beware, tampering with wireless devices can be wirelessly detected

D-Link HD Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Baby Camera
Wi-Fi is always around us, constantly broadcasting between devices in our homes and offices, but we don’t ever see or feel it. But it turns out the Wi-Fi can feel us, with minor variations detected in its signal when a person moves around nearby transmitting routers. More interesting, however, is the fact that Wi-Fi can also detect major differences in its function when someone is tampering with the device that spawned it.

Discovered by researchers at Lancaster University, the results of their “Using Channel State Information for Tamper Detection in the Internet of Things,” has major security implications. As more technology is connected to our networks wirelessly, it doesn’t need to be placed in locations that are as easy to reach, or within sight. That often means the devices aren’t checked as easily or as often, which can actually make tampering with devices easier, and more difficult for the owner to notice. This new research could solve that problem by making Wi-Fi itself a sort of security net.

The change in a Wi-Fi signal requires monitoring multiple receivers to detect differences in the type of wireless signal they receive, but once in place, it becomes quite easy to notice what the researchers called Channel State Information interference. Detecting these sorts of issues can even be handled automatically, which is great because it can also differentiate between noise and disruption caused by environmental factors like weather, only alerting someone if a device has been tampered with.

The results of the study suggest that these sorts of fluctuations can be used to detect people messing with Wi-Fi transmitting hardware. Considering it can also detect people walking nearby, it could be used to track foot traffic in lieu of more traditional cameras, (according to ScienceDaily).

This will become even more useful in years to come as more Internet-Of-Things devices are enabled and allowed to operate autonomously. Without a system like this, knowing whether someone has made changes to a device that could affect security of user data or physical assets can be difficult, if not possible.

Home Theater

Banish the bunny ears (and monthly bills) with these excellent HD antennas

When transitioning away from cable and satellite, finding the best HDTV antenna for your area can be tricky. To aid in your cord-cutting quest, we've compiled our picks of the best indoor HDTV antennas you can buy.

Flex your thumbs (and your brain) with these fun texting games

Gaming consoles keep getting more advanced, but you can still have fun with the good old Latin alphabet. Here are our picks for the best texting games, so you can make the most fun out of that limited data plan or basic cell phone.
Home Theater

Here are some common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. But with so many subreddits to choose from, exploring them can be overwhelming. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.

From hot rods to budget sleepers, our favorite desktops can handle anything

Are laptops overrated? Experience the power offered by the best desktop computers on the market today, whether you're in need of a budget solution or a fire-breathing, $4,000 premium gaming rig.

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Product Review

HP’s gem-cut Spectre x360 15 is the most powerful 2-in-1 you can buy

HP’s 2019 Spectre x360 15 brings this massive 2-in-1 up to speed, literally. It now equips the same six-core Intel CPU as the rest of the 15-inch field, along with a real GPU for some 1080p gaming.

Man pleads guilty to scamming Facebook and Google out of more than $100M

One of the men behind an elaborate fraud that saw Facebook and Google each hand over tens of millions of dollars has admitted to his part in the scheme. Lithuanian Evaldas Rimasauskas faces up to 30 years in a U.S. jail.

Ditch the background from your photos with these handy editing tools

Need to know how to remove the background from an image? Whether you prefer to use a premium program like Photoshop or one of the many web-based alternatives currently in existence, we'll show you how.

Yes, you can use Android apps on your Chromebook. Here's how

You can now get Android apps on your Chromebook! Google has enabled the Google Play Store app support on its Chrome OS and Chromebook hardware, so to get you started, here's our guide on how to get Android apps on a Chromebook.

Zipping files on a Chromebook? Follow these four easy steps

Chromebooks support file compression, though they work a little differently than on Windows or Mac. Here's the step-by-step process to zipping files on a Chromebook, and then unzipping them again for extraction.

Tired of all that white? Here's how to change the Google background image

Did you know that you can change how your Google search home page looks? It's a simple process to pick a new theme: We'll show you how to change your Google background, what to look for in themes, and how to download your own pictures for a…

These big, beautiful BenQ gaming monitors are on sale on Amazon right now

All gamers know that a good monitor is just as important as PC hardware to fully enjoy what today's games have to offer. BenQ makes some of the best (including some of our favorites), and three top-rated BenQ gaming monitors are on sale on…

The best Raspberry Pi 3 kits for coders, gamers, and DIY projects

The Raspberry Pi 3 is a low-budget computing platform capable of doing just about anything. We rounded up a handful of the best Raspberry Pi 3 bundles to get you started on a variety of DIY projects.