For a variety of reasons not worth discussing fully here, I am personally against Smart Gun technology. Let’s just say there are enough mechanical and human variables that can introduce errors to an already dynamic defensive situation. Plus the whole ‘relying on a safety system and not yourself’ deal leaves a bad taste in my mouth. However, as much as I poke fun at manual safety enabled handguns, I’d never tell someone what they can or can’t carry to protect themselves.
As a precursor to the upcoming Defcon “hacker” conference this week, Wired Magazine posted an article featuring a researcher who successfully hacked the Armatix IP1 Smart Gun. Normally paired with a wristwatch that is worn by the shooter, the hacker who goes by the name “Plore” used magnets to defeat the pistol’s safety features.
For lovers of both guns and tech, the full article is worth the read. One of the highlights I appreciated at the end of the article was the hacker stating that people should be allowed to carry a Smart Gun if they so choose. I fully agree – it just won’t be me.
Thanks for the tip Dad.
FOR GUN CONTROL advocates, a “smart” gun that only its owner can fire has promised an elusive ideal: If your phone or PC can remain locked until you prove your identity, why not your lethal weapon? Now, for the first time, a skilled hacker has taken a deep look into the security mechanisms of one leading example of those authenticated firearms. He’s found that if smart guns are going to become a reality, they’ll need to be smarter than this one.
At the Defcon hacker conference later this week, a hacker who goes by the pseudonym Plore plans to show off a series of critical vulnerabilities he found in the Armatix IP1, a smart gun whose German manufacturer Armatix has claimed its electronic security measures will “usher in a new era of gun safety.” Plore discovered, and demonstrated to WIRED at a remote Colorado firing range, that he could hack the gun with a disturbing variety of techniques, all captured in the video above.
All of which suggests that Armatix’s IP1 is already a lost cause for gun-safety advocates. But Plore reasons that perhaps demonstrating its flaws can show future smart gun manufacturers how not to design safety measures. There’s no software patch that can fix the IP1. But future models of the gun, and those from other manufacturers, could integrate components with tighter radio timing restrictions to defeat Plore’s relay attack. They could use error correction and higher-powered radio signals to prevent jamming attacks. And to defeat his magnet attack, they could build their firing pin locking mechanism with non-ferrous materials, or use a motor that applies a rotary force to lock the gun that can’t be easily spoofed with a simple one-direction magnet outside its body.