Clarity Concerning the Mechanism Behind “Havana Syndrome,” Vulnerabilities Within U.S. Embassies/Consulates, and Russian/Chinese Exploitation of Vulnerabilities
In late 2016, U.S. Embassy staffers reported experiencing headaches, nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms believed to be caused by a sonic weapon of some sort. After a great deal of speculation along these lines, the leading theory shifted in the direction of mass hysteria induced by the staff’s awareness of a single illness. More recently, after even more cases have emerged, evidence would seem to once again suggest a sonic weapon.
What possible motive could a state actor such as Russia or China have to induce sickness in employees of an embassy? Did they really believe that embassies would simply pack up and leave town, ceasing their spying operations just because a few people got sick? What sense would it make to operate a sonic weapon that would sicken operators more than the intended victims?
According to one report, a staffer become the most ill when in bed or when working in particular parts of the building, but not in others. The United States Government is not being forthright with regards to what it knows (or worse, what they don’t know) concerning the phenomenon of “Havana Syndrome.”
On April 5, 2017, the Technical University of Munich published a study demonstrating how EM emitted from a dual-band wireless router could be used, when combined with a router they had complete control over, to make a 3D map of the interior of a structure. See:
U.S. Embassies notably are protected by a copper-wire mesh that prevents coherent EM energy from being emitted from within the secure facilities. Ostensibly, a technique identical to the one employed at the Technical University of Munich would not be viable. However, an alteration of this technique based upon a historical case of successful espionage could work successfully, with or without a copper-wire mesh surrounding a structure. It is my contention that Havana Syndrome can be traced to an attempt to exploit such an approach in order to generate 3D maps of the interior of embassies and consulates.
From 1945 to 1952, the device was used successfully to spy on the U.S. Ambassador to the U.S.S.R. in his residential study. Where that device converted acoustical signals into EM signals using an external power source (an early predecessor to RFID) the technique now being employed by Russia and China take advantage of a security vulnerability introduced by the United States itself, without any subterfuge required on their part(s).
While existing security protocols within U.S. Embassies prohibit the use of wireless routers as such, using only hardwired configurations for their internal communications, U.S. Embassies use off-the-shelf routers with very little modification except to turn off 802.11 functionality. This means that U.S. Embassies have deliberately introduced multiple dipole antennae into their secure facilities. While a copper-wire mesh will effectively negate EM signals, it does nothing to stop acoustical energy from penetrating a wall.
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