Researchers Find That U.S. Military’s Smart Rifle Can Be Hacked

Researchers have demonstrated how their technique can wreak havoc with the gun's targeting computer, causing it to miss its target, prevent it from firing or even disable the scope completely. Pictured is a self-aiming weapon manufactured by TrackingPoint (PHOTO CREDIT: TrackingPoint)
Researchers have demonstrated how their technique can wreak havoc with the gun’s targeting computer, causing it to miss its target, prevent it from firing or even disable the scope completely. Pictured is a self-aiming weapon manufactured by TrackingPoint (PHOTO CREDIT: TrackingPoint)

Last year the US army confirmed it was testing smart rifles with computer-guided scopes that can aim themselves.

But now hacking researchers have revealed that they can take control of the weapons remotely, changing their target or disabling the weapon completely.

The hack is based on the smart rifle’s Wi-Fi connection, and has the potential to make the weapons – which were delivered to the US army last year – vulnerable to being hijacked.

TrackingPoint, the company that makes the smart rifles, uses cameras, sensors and Linux software to make its weapons that can turn even an inexperienced marksman into a deadly sniper.

Last year it was reported that the US army had acquired six of the weapons for testing, but the company marketed them primarily to hunters.

But researchers Runa Sandvik and Michael Auger have revealed a way to hijack the guns, and they plan to present their research at the Black Hat hacker conference in two weeks, according to Wired.

They revealed the hack to point out security flaws in the rifles, and they have been in touch with TrackingPoint to try to work on a fix to the vulnerability.

Sandvik and Auger demonstrated how their technique can wreak havoc with the gun’s targeting computer, causing it to miss its target, prevent it from firing or even disable the scope completely.

Their tricks interfere with the calculations of the rifle’s targeting computer so accurately that the hackers could hit a bulls-eye of their choosing – without the shooter knowing.

‘You can make it lie constantly to the user so they’ll always miss their shot,’ Sandvik, a former developer for the anonymity software Tor, told Wired.

Married couple Sandvik and Auger have been working on two of the $13,000 (£8,000) TrackingPoint self-aiming rifles for the past year.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Daily Mail, Jack Millner

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