Researchers at Virginia Tech claim that modern LTE networks can easily be taken offline through simple radio jamming techniques — much easier than traditional GSM and CDMA networks. According to Jeff Reed, director of wireless research at the university, anyone with $650 and a power amplifier can cripple miles of LTE signals, meaning anyone malicious enough to do so can definitely wreak some damage.
Networks today do have 3G to fall back on should anything happen, but many carriers plan on working toward an LTE-only diet in the future. Where would we be without our precious mobile data? Better hope there’s a Wi-Fi connection nearby.
Due to the way 4G data is transmitted — and the publicly available details on specific frequencies — anyone with a little know-how can knock down entire cities or regions. Reed said there currently aren’t any solutions to the problem that he knows of, but that Virginia Tech’s research has been submitted to the proper authorities. Let’s just hope no one out there is planning on taking out any of our LTE networks for fun.