Safes Open Without Combination

One of Amazon’s top-selling electronic gun safes contains a critical vulnerability that allows it to be opened by virtually anyone, even when they don’t know the password.

The Vaultek VT20i handgun safe, ranked fourth in Amazon’s gun safes and cabinets category, allows owners to electronically open the door using a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone app. The remote unlock feature is supposed to work only when someone knows the four- to eight-digit personal identification number used to lock the device. But it turns out that this PIN safeguard can be bypassed using a standard computer and a small amount of programming know-how.

As the video demonstration below shows, researchers with security firm Two Six Labs were able to open a VT20i safe in a matter of seconds by using their MacBook Pro to send specially designed Bluetooth data while it was in range. The feat required no knowledge of the unlock PIN or any advanced scanning of the vulnerable safe. The hack works reliably even when the PIN is changed. All that’s required to make it work is that the safe have Bluetooth connectivity turned on.

Read the rest of the article: https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/12/top-selling-handgun-safe-can-be-remotely-opened-in-seconds-no-pin-needed/

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