Donate on Patreon

Customs agents found tea kettles and irons bugged with freaky Spyware chips that exploit WiFi connections, reports Rosbalt, the local news outlet out of St. Petersberg.

The chips, the paper claims, can exploit WiFi without passwords at a range of “up to 200 meters” and then “sends some data to the foreign server.”

The Register did some digging and found the story legit. They also surmise the supposed bugging could be pulled off with ease:

We see no reason why not: the components are small and cheap enough. One last wrinkle: could one convert Russia’s 220v electricity supply to power a small electronic device without frying it, and without making an iron or kettle look rather odd? The answer is yes: all manner of tiny PCB transformers can be had to do the job.

The Register’s “one problem” with the story stems from the customs agents’ claim that they found the chips because the shipments were overweight.

“We surmise that whoever made the killer kettles and infiltrated irons cobbled them together with unlovely components that made their presence obvious,” writes Simon Sharwood of The Register.

Well, aside from China’s (cheap) “cobbled together” products (that spy on people), we have one other problem: why spy on regular people.

Unless, of course, they were just a test for a more surreptitious operation to plant such wifi microchips.

Maybe, they’ll do like Russia and hand out thumb drives at the next G20 meeting?


Sharing is Caring

Russia Claims China Bugged Tea Kettles With Freaky WiFi-Exploiting Microchips by Jim Lee is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Based on a work at Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

Creative Commons License

You are free to:

  • • Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
  • • Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material
Under the following terms:
  • • Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
  • • NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
  • • ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.


About Jim Lee

Staff unable to access boiling water reactors during hot shutdown due to flooding, very few details available. Warn everyone! ... Continue reading

People Cookers, Blinding Lasers, Infrasound Heart Attacks, and MUCH MORE! ... Continue reading