1000 Self-Targeting Sniper Rifles are sitting ducks for Hackers

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Few days back we received the news of how cars could be hacked. Now GOD-DAMN sniper can be hacked too. So people, get ready for pandemonium.

TrackinPoint Sniper rifles running Linux and Android with the inclusion of a Wi-Fi connection has a major flaw. There is a possibility that they can be remotely hacked. Yeah, that was an unexpected news!

Here is given a brief description and account about the sniper’s hack story:

Runa Sandvik with her husband Micheal Auger bought two of the $13000 self-aiming rifles and for the past one year they have been working on exploiting the self-targeting rifles.

The couple will be showing results of their work and demonstrate their accomplishment at the Black Hat hacking conference which is scheduled this August.

The rifle exploit enables a hacker do passive damage like disabling the rifle, or make it choose a new target altogether.

Together Runa and Micheal have uncovered the inner workings of the rifle and can make it’s computer-targeting unusable. They can also get root access to the targeting system of the rifle and make permanent changes.

This is quite grim, but there are  few consolations:

  •    A network attack on the rifle can’t make it fire when it’s controlled manually, i.e. controlled via an actual finger on the trigger.
  •    There are only 1000 of such weapons in customer’s hands.

Wired has stated that the exploit will allow the hackers to make the bullets miss the shooter’s intended target and hit a different target altogether.

The couples have already notified the makers of the self-targeting rifles, TrackingPoint of the vulnerability, but the company is yet to respond.

Currently, the company is reorganizing and has withheld all shipment of the rifles.

Again this is not the last we are going to see of automated weaponry as many companies are researching and planning to launch their own.

Mechanized or normal weapons had been a subject of errors themselves (the infamous crossfire scenarios), but the very idea of a hackable weapon just sends chills to the spine.

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