By Dawn Luger
Those on the left end of the political spectrum are constantly attempting to push the “Smart Gun” as if it’s some sort of magical device that will end all violence. It isn’t, of course, and you can easily fire any locked smart gun and it’ll only cost you $15.
Much to the chagrin of gun control activists everywhere, for the first time, a skilled hacker has taken a deep look into the security mechanisms of one leading example of a “smart gun.” A smart gun is one of those authenticated firearms, meaning only its owner may actually fire the weapon. The argument for the smart gun has been in the pockets of hoplophobes for years. But now, one hacker has found that if smart guns are going to become a reality, they’ll need to be much smarter than the one he hacked.
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. –WIRED
The IP1 purports to limit who can fire it by requiring that the shooter wears a special Armatix watch. If the gun and the watch can’t connect via a short-range radio signal that extends just a few inches, the gun won’t fire. But Plore shows how anyone can get around the simple technology. Plore showed that he can extend the range of the watch’s radio signal, allowing anyone to fire the gun when it’s more than ten feet away. But that’s not all.
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Plore was able to jam the gun’s radio signals to prevent its owner from firing it even when the watch is inches away and connected. He also showed that he can mechanically disable the gun’s locking mechanism by placing some cheap magnets alongside its barrel, firing the gun at will even when the watch is completely absent.
Plore says that the politicized debate over smart guns hasn’t examined the far more basic question of whether they actually provide the security they promise. “If you buy one of these weapons thinking it’ll be safer, it should be,” Plore says. “In this case, it was so easily defeated, in so many ways, that it really failed to live up to its side of that bargain…Misplaced trust is worse than no trust at all.”
But what does one expect when those who hate guns and seek violent government policies to control those who own them get involved in things they know little about? It stands to reason that the market will continue to find ways around the left’s insistence on more laws.
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Contributed by Dawn Luger of The Daily Sheeple.