Technology risk without safeguards

Alain Hebert ahebert at
Wed Nov 4 17:31:38 UTC 2020

     Maybe someone is just looking for "inspiration".

     There is other venues to work this out "safely", IMHO.

Alain Hebert                                ahebert at
PubNIX Inc.
50 boul. St-Charles
P.O. Box 26770     Beaconsfield, Quebec     H9W 6G7
Tel: 514-990-5911    Fax: 514-990-9443

On 11/4/20 12:24 PM, Matt Harris wrote:
> Matt Harris​ 	
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> On Wed, Nov 4, 2020 at 10:48 AM Suresh Kalkunte <sskalkunte at 
> <mailto:sskalkunte at>> wrote:
>     Hello,
>     I believe the below described method of causing intentional (1)
>     damage to equipment in data centers and (2) physical injury to a
>     person at the workplace is on-topic for the NANOG community, if
>     not, I look forward to your feedback. As a software developer who
>     has subscribed to the NANOG mailing list for a number of years, I
>     post this note relying on intellectual honesty that I have had the
>     opportunity to observe since 1996-97.
>     The below described technology risk is applicable to
>     computing/communication equipment rendered vulnerable by
>     Intentional Electromagnetic Interference (jamming an electronic
>     device) and the risk of health sabotage affecting people (jamming
>     a human) managing the Internet infrastructure enabled by
>     intentional application of powerful radiofrequency fields (RF)
>     emitted by re-purposed components salvaged from a kitchen heating
>     appliance (Magnetron) or from an outdoor high gain/power Line of
>     sight transceiver (unidirectional microwave radio) which has a
>     harm causing range up to 25 meters (estimated using a Spectral
>     Power Density calculator like
>     <>).
>     This risk from mis-application of powerful RF is from human
>     operated or IoT apparatus** with an avenue of approch from (a)
>     subterrain placement aided by a compact/mini directional
>     horizontal drilling machine (eg. principle of placing a stent in
>     the heart) and/or (b) strategic placement in an obscure
>     over-surface location to maximize negative impact on the target of
>     opportunity.
>     With building materials or ground offer insufficient* protection
>     to block the passage of powerful RF and the absence of
>     diagnostic/forensic tests to detect biomarkers expressed
>     post-overexposure to harmful RF  (combination of RF frequency,
>     Spectral Power Density/Specific Absorption Rate incident on a
>     person and duration of exposure), intentional damage to electronic
>     equipment and people is at present unrestricted.
>     The purpose of bringing this method of exploting technology to
>     your attention is with an interest to build the momentum for
>     ushering in the much needed safeguards in this context.
> While I'm a bit confused as to what this message is trying to 
> ultimately get at, it should be noted that folks who work with RF 
> communications equipment and other EM emitters which are strong enough 
> to cause harm to a person are generally well aware of the necessary 
> precautions and take them on a day to day basis when working with this 
> equipment. If there's evidence that some part of our industry is 
> ignoring or failing to train their team members on safety best 
> practices, then let's hear that out specifically and I'm all for 
> working to rectify that.
> On the other hand, the post seems to hint at intentionally using high 
> powered RF to inflict intentional harm on a person or to jam 
> communications signals. The former is relatively difficult to do by 
> virtue of the amount of power necessary. Quite basically, there are 
> much easier ways to go about injuring someone if that's what you want 
> to do. Of course, intentionally injuring another person is a criminal 
> act in just about every jurisdiction. As far as the latter goes, the 
> ability to jam RF communications has existed for as long as RF 
> communication has, and the knowledge of how to accomplish it is 
> relatively widespread. It is also illegal in the US and most likely 
> many other jurisdictions as well, and in the US the FCC has 
> enforcement power with the ability to levy some pretty hefty fines on 
> anyone who does so, even inadvertently though negligent practices.
> The post states that their intention is to "build the momentum for 
> ushering in the much needed safeguards in this context." but lacks 
> specificity with regard to what safeguards they propose beyond the 
> legal/regulatory ones that already exist, so I'm not sure what more 
> can really be said here.

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