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Cell Phones in Combat Zones: How Faraday Gear Keeps You Safe and Silent

September 13, 2022 4 min read

Cell Phones in Combat Zones: How Faraday Gear Keeps You Safe and Silent

In the digital age, it can seem as though there's nowhere to hide.That's the difficult lesson the Russian and Ukrainian armies had to learn when investigators started  tracking their movements via social media. You may think you're too careful to make such a poor choice. But built-in cell phone features could deliver top-secret data to the enemy without your knowledge.

All it takes is one radio frequency (or RF signature) to pinpoint your location and compromise national security.

Whether you're in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard, there are times when duty requires you to live off the grid. So what happens when you want to call home? Cell phones are still essential, evenwhen deployed or in uncontrolled environments.

Cell phones in combat need to keep our warfighters safe. That's why Faraday gear is key to military-grade security on the battlefield. Join us as we discuss how SLNT® Faraday gear keeps our soldiers safe and sound.


Warfighters and Cell Phones

The enemy is hacking and tracking digital devices connected to warfighters. Whether these devices are in pockets, bags, or vehicles, military personnel are exposed to dangerous targeting. The stakes are high, and location tracking can reveal positioning and potentially lead to the devastating loss of life.

As our near-peer adversaries play a bigger role in the conflicts we face, we see enemies taking out soldiers via tracking and targeting personal devices.The battlefield has expanded from land, sea, air, and space to the universal digital world. SLNT® Faraday products are an effective way to mitigate this new era.


Compromised Devices Put Soldiers at Risk

The enemy can install a hidden rootkit on any cellphone. Without the user's knowledge, the enemy can control the phone and sell soldiers out to the enemy. Using the tracking capabilities of a cell phone, the enemy could precision-target a squad of soldiers. All it takes is one compromised device to achieve devastating casualties.

Compromised devices can do much more, such as capturing audio and video of their users. They can intercept communications of all kinds, from phone calls to text messages.


The Dangers of Rootkits

A rootkit is a cyber attack tool used by hackers to gain unauthorized access to electronic devices. A device poisoned by a rootkit is as good as useless. The best thing soldiers can do is grind that device into dust. Even wiping or resetting a device proves fruitless since these viruses often reside below the operating system (OS).

Further, one device can compromise other devices that it connects to. The rootkit on a cell phone can infect anything from laptops to entire server farms. 

What's worse, no one knows the rootkit is there. The rootkit might lie dormant for days, weeks, or even months. It could be feeding data to the enemy, and no one knows until it’s too late. Military operations, especially stealth missions, cannot afford to let slip their plans. 


Why Do Cell Phones Threaten OPSEC?

Cybersecurity experts and those who serve in the military are familiar  with Operational Security (OPSEC). In layman's terms, OPSEC is the military training associated with keeping information secret. When soldiers go off the grid, they must avoid anything revealing their mission, capabilities, or position.

Posting a story to Instagram could risk revealing precise location data to the enemy. Even when a soldier carefully observes OPSEC, a personal cell phone is a huge security risk. 

Companies design cell phones for a wide variety of connectivity. Cell radio, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS, and more. These types of RF signatures allow complex communication and geo-positioning ecosystems.

Unfortunately, this information is very useful in the wrong hands. If the enemy can pick up these signals, they can use them to compromise our soldiers' cover.

That said, the solution to preventing this is relatively simple. Most devices can disable connectivity, but  nothing keeps you safe and silent better than blocking your electronic devices from wireless signals.


Maintaining Radio Silence on the Battlefield

Cyber warfare, such as  the infamous Stuxnet worm, may pose the greatest threat to our soldiers. SLNT® signal-blocking solutions are an effective way to mitigate the effects of digital sabotage.

There is no end to the level of exploitation that hackers can achieve. Personal devices, work phones, laptops, and more are vulnerable to advanced persistent threats (APTs). And that's what  SLNT® sets out to defend against.

SLNT® products allow soldiers to maintain radio silence no matter the situation.Soldiers can keep the mobile technology they need without giving away secure positions.

SLNT® products also combat the elements soldiers encounter in their respective fields. These products are water resistant, durable, and compatible with standard-issue equipment.  Berry Compliant and TAA Compliant gear is also available.

Budget RFID-blocking bags don’t cut it. With SLNT®, you get a mobile Faraday cage that entirely contains wireless signals.


Eliminate Signal Off-Gassing

Check out Kaj Larsen's demonstration and how to prevent signal off-gassing with SLNT® products:

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Find Faraday Gear for Your Military Needs

Cell phones in combat present unique vulnerabilities in the digital age. SLNT® is the leader in signal-blocking military-grade protective gear. Check out our website for  Faraday sleeves that fit devices of all sizes and shapes.