White House Spurring ‘Smart Guns’

The White House today released the findings from a study by the Defense, Justice and Homeland Security Departments on ways to spur the development of smart-gun technology, which restricts who can fire a weapon.

Smart-gun technology uses RFID chips or biometrics, such as a fingerprint scanner or grip recognition, to release a locking mechanism on a weapon. The technology was initially developed to prevent police officers’ weapons from being grabbed in a struggle and used against them. The military has also expressed interest in the technology for the same reason.

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For two decades, smart-gun technology has advanced in fits and starts as wary investors kept purse strings tight and gun rights proponents at times fought its uptake.

Then, in January, President Obama directed the federal government to conduct or sponsor research into gun safety technology, along with ways to promote it.

“If we can set it up so you can’t unlock your phone unless you’ve got the right fingerprint, why can’t we do the same thing for our guns? If a child can’t open a bottle of aspirin, we should make sure that they can’t pull a trigger on a gun,” Obama said in January.

So you honestly think that technology like that won’t be hacked, either by bad actors or the government? If that is the case, keep dreaming.

Read the rest of the article: http://www.computerworld.com/article/3063561/emerging-technology/white-house-releases-study-on-how-to-spur-smart-gun-tech.html

CMF Armor Destroys Bullets

Composite metal foams (CMFs) are tough enough to turn an armor-piercing bullet into dust on impact. Given that these foams are also lighter than metal plating, the material has obvious implications for creating new types of body and vehicle armor – and that’s just the beginning of its potential uses.

Afsaneh Rabiei, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at NC State, has spent years developing CMFs and investigating their unusual properties. The video seen here shows a composite armor made out of her composite metal foams. The bullet in the video is a 7.62 x 63 millimeter M2 armor piercing projectile, which was fired according to the standard testing procedures established by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). And the results were dramatic.

“We could stop the bullet at a total thickness of less than an inch, while the indentation on the back was less than 8 millimeters,” Rabiei says. “To put that in context, the NIJ standard allows up to 44 millimeters indentation in the back of an armor.” The results of that study were published in 2015.

Read the rest of the article: http://phys.org/news/2016-04-metal-foam-obliterates-bullets.html

Hackers Can Disable a Sniper Rifle—Or Change Its Target

PUT A COMPUTER on a sniper rifle, and it can turn the most amateur shooter into a world-class marksman. But add a wireless connection to that computer-aided weapon, and you may find that your smart gun suddenly seems to have a mind of its own—and a very different idea of the target.

At the Black Hat hacker conference in two weeks, security researchers Runa Sandvik and Michael Auger plan to present the results of a year of work hacking a pair of $13,000 TrackingPoint self-aiming rifles. The married hacker couple have developed a set of techniques that could allow an attacker to compromise the rifle via its Wi-Fi connection and exploit vulnerabilities in its software. Their tricks can change variables in the scope’s calculations that make the rifle inexplicably miss its target, permanently disable the scope’s computer, or even prevent the gun from firing. In a demonstration for WIRED (shown in the video above), the researchers were able to dial in their changes to the scope’s targeting system so precisely that they could cause a bullet to hit a bullseye of the hacker’s choosing rather than the one chosen by the shooter.

“You can make it lie constantly to the user so they’ll always miss their shot,” says Sandvik, a former developer for the anonymity software Tor. Or the attacker can just as easily lock out the user or erase the gun’s entire file system. “If the scope is bricked, you have a six to seven thousand dollar computer you can’t use on top of a rifle that you still have to aim yourself.”

Read the rest of the article: http://www.wired.com/2015/07/hackers-can-disable-sniper-rifleor-change-target/