Hacker Demonstrates How Radio Waves Could Overload a GFCI

Hair

Hacker Maggie Jauregui was using a walkie-talkie at the same time she was blowing drying her hair, and accidentally overloaded the current of a GFCI in the hair dryer. The hair dryer began to vibrate, spark and smoke.

After experimenting, she honed the method to demonstrate it at the DefCon Hacker Conference last week in Las Vegas, NV. She used a handheld directional radio antenna to demonstrate how the right frequency can create an overload of current in a coil of wire inside the ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) of an electronic device.  Most devices with burned out GFCIs continue to work, but are susceptible to electrical shock and pose a hazard to individuals.

Watch a video to see how she was able to fry the GFCI of a hair dryer. 

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