Jam the Police

Over the last weekend, some hackers decided to jam the Chicago Police radio system with obscenities and music.

The music included this rather obscure relic from the Bosnian War knows as Serbia Strong (Србија јака):

To give a little perspective, making unauthorized transmissions on police frequencies is actually quite easy to do in most cities and only requires a radio you can buy in Amazon for about $35.

Although it is technically feasible to track down someone jamming police frequencies, police departments generally don’t have the necessary tools and trained personnel ready to respond on short notice. For the most part, it’s virtually impossible to catch someone interfering with police radio systems. Although from time to time, someone does get caught.

About 20 years ago, there was an individual that was routinely interfering with police and public safety radio frequencies in the area around Burnsville, Minnesota. The perpetrator was affectionately known as “The Burnsville Burper”.

From The Saint Paul Pioneer Press, Tuesday, February 26, 2002


Man admits breaking into police radio calls

A Burnsville man pleaded guilty Monday to obstructing the legal process in connection with repeatedly breaking into police radio communications, sometimes urging officers to shoot suspects.

Aaron Howard Goldberg, 32, will be sentenced in Dakota County District Court on March 19. Goldberg could not be reached for comment.

Since at least April 2000, Burnsville police and fire, along with several other public safety agencies, experienced unauthorized radio communications on their radio frequencies, according to the criminal complaint. Burnsville officials documented about 25
incidents they believed were caused by the same hacker.

On February 4, 2001, a Burnsville officer heard a male voice on the air say “You betcha” and noted that the transmission was extremely clear, causing the officer to suspect that the source of the transmission was close by. Just after hearing the transmission, the officer saw a car that was one of the suspected vehicles involved in the radio transmissions.

Officers observed the driver take a handheld radio transmitter and place it in front of his mouth. At that moment, officers heard a male voice over the radio that appeared to have used an obscenity.

When stopped by police, Goldberg said he had broadcast on the Burnsville emergency frequency “more times than he could count on his hands,” according to the criminal complaint. When asked why he did it, “Goldberg stated that it was just stupid.”

As you can see, the perpetrator wasn’t caught using any kind of advanced technology, but rather good old fashioned police work with a police officer being aware of what’s going on around him.

As far as that Serbian song is concerned, we had posted a video of it on YouTube with English subtitles, but it was immediately removed by YouTube for violating community standards.

Alas, YouTube is not the only video platform in the world and even though the presentation is not as clean as it is on YouTube, you can watch it just fine on Vidlii.

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