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Wi-Fi devices are always connected to each other, even when they appear to be idle or are not connected to the same network. Using this vulnerability hackers can access your devices and cause them to drain their own battery quicker.

Devices that use Wi-Fi can be tricked into draining their own batteries, thanks to a quirk in the way that wireless networks operate. Experts have found that most gadgets can transmit information to technology that is connected to another Wi-Fi point and often tech gadgets do not need to know passwords or permissions to connect to networks. Although the ability seems innocuous, it could be exploited to take out security cameras or form part of a coordinated attack with other vulnerabilities.

Professor Ali Abedi at Stanford University in California and his colleagues have discovered a phenomenon they call “polite Wi-Fi”, in which devices acknowledge and reply to messages from any other wireless device, no matter whether they have the password or permission to be on the same network. The responses contain no sensitive information themselves, but according to, Abedi’s team has found ways their transmission can be abused.

Using this scheme cyber criminals can disable a battery-powered video surveillance camera, motion sensors or any other security system. Experts have tested more than 5,000 devices from 186 manufacturers and have found that all contained this vulnerable access point.

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