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123 comments

Can you fit them on the heads of sharks? (4, Funny)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713250)

I'm just asking?

Re:Can you fit them on the heads of sharks? (2, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713336)

Only if the data is modulated in a collimated, uniform wavelength beam of light known as a "laser".

Re:Can you fit them on the heads of sharks? (1)

AVryhof (142320) | more than 4 years ago | (#31714382)

Not just plain sharks.... Frickien' Sharks... with Data Beams

Re:Can you fit them on the heads of sharks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31715724)

Would have been funnier if you hadn't spelled out what a collimated, uniform wavelength beam of light actually is

April Fools is over (0)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713254)

I mean, shooting information streams? WTF? This is a joke, right. Right?!

Re:April Fools is over (3, Funny)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713270)

i can shoot a stream of information...

Re:April Fools is over (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31713286)

Gross.

Re:April Fools is over (1)

masshuu (1260516) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713584)

thats only equivalent to ~375 megabytes

Re:April Fools is over (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31714480)

... plus mutations!

Re:April Fools is over (1)

iYk6 (1425255) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713332)

The article predates April 1.

Re:April Fools is over (1)

Ryukotsusei (1164453) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713804)

I'm pretty sure they already have similar things out there, electronic warfare planes to jam radar and guidance missiles. This just moves it from analog to digital systems.

Re:April Fools is over (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31714054)

Yeah .... i think people have been watching independence day a bit too much ...

Re:April Fools is over (2, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31714334)

Yeah .... i think people have been watching independence day a bit too much ...

In other words, once.

Re:April Fools is over (2, Funny)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 4 years ago | (#31714498)

Welcome to erf!

Broken Link (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713288)

The link is broken, how did this pass editing?

Slashdotted (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31713306)

Mirror [zoy.org]

Re:Slashdotted (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31714144)

the ac's "mirror" is a reported attack site... Is that enough for an IP ban?

Re:Slashdotted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31714356)

What good would that do? And who died and made you king anyway?

What? (4, Funny)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713292)

So now we're trying to rick-roll enemy pilots in dog fights?

Re:What? (3, Funny)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713576)

So now we're trying to rick-roll enemy pilots in dog fights?

No, it's a cyber-invasion. The weapon unleashes a flood of A/S/L requests.

Re:What? (4, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713614)

American Pilot 1: Oh shit! They just launched missiles!
American Pilot 2: Quick, do a barrel roll!
American Pilot 1: I am saved!

Re:What? (5, Interesting)

drolli (522659) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713826)

I cite from the article'

'"We will tell you that in the world of the exciter, the holy grail is to get a universal design that can generate all the waveforms that you could possibly imagine," says Falco.'

Its pretty clear what they mainly want: Inject any analog waveform in any band to confuse radar with arbitrary objects. If the enemy radar gets a software upgrade which detects you last attempt, you just change your software. Up to now planes tracked by radar (missiles?) could jam the radar by fixed waveforms or the plane ejects some objects (which dont act like planes) to irritate the radar. With the proposes a system you can make the opponent see hundreds of things on the radar which look like planes and fly like planes. Heck you can even fake the transponder message of their own plane you just shot down.

You can use such a capability for choosen plaintext attacks (e.g. what do their systems send when a plane is entering a perimeter around the base), to confuse the enemy during active combat. If somebody uses radio links, and your crytographers are good enough you can also directly inject messages into enemy communications. Lets not forget that in asymmetric conflict the opponents of the USA very often have only the rudest communication means; the capability to control e.g. GSM communication during a battle could help in some places. Last but not least, you could help a plain cyberwar by injecting information here and there.

Re:What? (0, Offtopic)

phayes (202222) | more than 4 years ago | (#31714032)

MOD PARENT UP!!! It is the only insightful+Informative post in a sea of basement dwelling spawned drivel.

Re:What? (5, Insightful)

dummondwhu (225225) | more than 4 years ago | (#31714800)

Great points. That's pretty much where my thoughts were going.

People seem to be thinking this thorough as a parallel to what we think of as cyber attacks in the internet world today where viruses and trojans take control of our PCs for nefarious purposes. And while that may be desirable to the Navy too, everything in warfare is moving toward digital communications these days. There are a number of types of tactical data links, communicating virtually everything that one battlefield entity might need to know from another and it's only going to get more widespread over time.

You don't need to "take over" an enemy radar when you can just tell it to report whatever you want to its operator via spoofed waveforms. Or, if a good guy plane could fool others into thinking it was an enemy plane (with a spoofed radar signature, IFF, etc.), the benefits are obvious.

The difficulties are defeating encryption and decoding messages/waveforms to be able to inject specific bits of data as seen fit. Though, a targeted DoS attack is probably not very difficult to achieve even now because if you flood a link with messages of the appropriate size, it still has to do some processing to decide that it can't do anything with them, possibly slowing or stopping legitimate messages.

Incidentally, I work in defense and I don't see my company listed in TFA so that sucks because this would be an interesting project. Though, it might be involved in some way that I just don't know about (because it's a huge company, not necessarily because of secrecy or anything).

Re:What? (1)

hypergreatthing (254983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31715468)

Article written in: March 31, 2010
Subject of april fools? If a plane or any object is "beaming" any sort of radiation, it makes it a hell of a lot easier to pinpoint where in the sky. You wouldn't need radar, just some simple triangulation.

Re:What? (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 4 years ago | (#31715732)

Not if you emit it in a highly directed way (note that they mention antennna arrays). Fuck if you have two planes there you could even fake your position should somebody imagine he can track you by simple triangulation (or even timing measurements). Its also diffucult to track a spread spectrum/narrow pulse (like radar) echo. Especially if its emited at a center frequency close to the strong signal of the orginal radar station.

The capability to reshape the beam dynamically will lower its em signature.

Re:What? (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31715644)

Both points are valid. If you can generate arbitrary waveforms, you can basically match whatever waveform the enemy radar uses and send it back at the appropriate time to create false echoes that the enemy can't filter out.

But your second point is the big one here, I think. Military wireless networks are becoming more and more common. Battlespace management systems (where every asset and enemy on the battlefield is tracked and this information spread among all vehicles or even individual soldiers) are becoming popular. If you can disrupt these wifi and data radio links, or better yet, inject false information, the enemy is denied a clear picture of the battlefield.

Re:What? (1)

krnpimpsta (906084) | more than 4 years ago | (#31715682)

'"We will tell you that in the world of the exciter, the holy grail is to get a universal design that can generate all the waveforms that you could possibly imagine," says Falco.'

Its pretty clear what they mainly want: Inject any analog waveform in any band to confuse radar with arbitrary objects. If the enemy radar gets a software upgrade which detects you last attempt, you just change your software.

Sweet. Sounds like we're only one step away from: "remodulate the waveform of the main deflector dish! Off phase of the Romulan..err, Russian signal by 29.5 degrees to create a simulated beta-tachyon pulse!"

Re:What? (1)

kclittle (625128) | more than 4 years ago | (#31716162)

In other words, digital data judo...

It is not just about the radar.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31716178)

When the Israelis took out the Syrian air defense net on their way to take out the Syrian plutonium breeder reactor, the Syrians thought they were on the air and supposedly they never saw the Israeli strike package coming--they saw some possible/probable Israeli jets in southern Turkey to the north, but nothing coming from the south or west. The Israelis punched a hole in a pretty up to date Russian integrated air defense system, and the suspicion is that they jiggered the computers somehow with specialized waveform inputs--possibly simple buffer overflows in the computers managing the net due to specialized packets coming down the wires reporting the receipt of specialized waveforms by the radars. All automatic don't you know....

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31716200)

I'd like to point out that the F-22's APG-77 radar can already act as a data link.http://www.irconnect.com/noc/press/pages/news_releases.html?d=121273 [irconnect.com] Other news sources seem to indicate this test was using a standard 802.11g link.

Hello, Bomb? (0)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31715802)

"Hello, Bomb. Are you sure you want to explode now? This is not the target you're looking for."

This sounds like a scam (2, Insightful)

linzeal (197905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713296)

Electronic Warfare has been around since at least WWII but the idea that airplanes are going to be hacking anything more sophisticated than a WiFi network at Mach 2 is dubious. Sure, they have been able to own spectrum, but owning devices is a whole other story. With the advent of cheap system on chip solutions that include robust cryptographic silicon it will not be long before China and Russia are integrating that or better in their domestic and for export weapon systems.

Re:This sounds like a scam (1)

nomel (244635) | more than 4 years ago | (#31714004)

Maybe blasting ps2/usb keyboard waveforms to execute keystrokes (by controller in keyboard or just onto data line)?
Maybe blast certain carrier waves so that unwanted modulation happens inside the device, transmitting data that wouldn't normally be transmitted?

I imagine these are the types of things they're thinking of for controlling...creating so much interference that the interference couples onto data buses and executes some commands...or something similar.

I agree that having specialized systems probably would make this impossible, but I imagine they're going for standard devices and peripherals...if it were me, I'd go for slow types of buses and signals...those made for humans!

If they can figure out how to do this two way...that would be amazing.

Re:This sounds like a scam (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31714832)

So, fuzzing basically. Then you have the enemy responding by spending more money and weight shielding the electronics.

Maybe not the most dramatic effect, but anything to give them a harder time.

Re:This sounds like a scam (1)

SunTzuWarmaster (930093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31715876)

As I understand it, your argument is that on-chip encrypters will always be better any decryption/(insertion/jamming)/encryption technique. Just to be clear, are you arguing that they cannot do it NOW, or that they cannot do it by 2018?

The DoD/Navy think that we can do it by 2018. Frankly, I value their opinion more than yours.

Re:This sounds like a scam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31716190)

So long as command and control is done through electronics hardware there will always be a chance the enemy will be able to compromise it through wide/narrow bandwidth denial attacks, EMP and other ECM. These are well known attacks but they do not allow the attacker to hijack the device. This idea that a plane flying close to the speed of sound will be able to hack anything even remotely complex by overriding the internal bus has no basis in reality.

Oh no... (4, Funny)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713300)

...they're shooting data beams at our Gibson! Release the Da Vinci virus!!!

Down for me (2, Informative)

nazariuskappertaal (1666797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713302)

Re:Down for me (3, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713964)

This vicious slashdotting will teach them about the nature of hardware disabling data beams.

Yet another DARPA idea straight out of sci-fi (1)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713340)

Typical DARPA. They'll put research funding into any idea that they've seen on Star Trek or read in a book somewhere.

The problem with "Cyber attacks" and "cyber space" is that they are too darn easy to defend against. Protecting your computers and hardware against a software virus is about as easy as protecting yourself from nerf gun darts. People get careless, and hackers get through, but it requires incompetence on the part of the system admins to not isolate critical systems from the damn internet. Most of the credit card processor breaches occurred because the company running it didn't put basic barriers in between the computers with the card data and the internal company network.

So it's kinda far fetched to plan on 0wnzoring your opponent's radars remotely by sending out data packets taking advantage of an exploit that your opponent can just patch with a firmware upgrade.

Re:Yet another DARPA idea straight out of sci-fi (2, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713454)

They'll put research funding into any idea that they've seen on Star Trek or read in a book somewhere.

It's led to most of their successes too though. That airplane-mounted laser that shoots down missles from the air? Totally sci-fi, and not even the book kind, that was given to them by Hollywood. It was a success in that it would work, just not in getting funding.

Their basic motto is "try everything and see what ends up working". Do you think most of their innovations started out as "holy shit this is obvious" concepts, or ones that 99% of the population would say "that's fucking retarded" when told about?

Re:Yet another DARPA idea straight out of sci-fi (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31713468)

Er, not really. If you're familiar with TEMPEST this idea is really intriguing.

For those of you that are unaware, TEMPEST attacks are where you deduce information by monitoring the interference electronics put out. Usually RF interference, but you can deduce a hell of a lot from power usage too. This stuff ranges from reading keyboard and mouse input to reading what your monitor is displaying. This is all 15-20 year old tech, and just shy of civilian level already. Sourceforge even had an mp3 player that would work by displaying black and white patterns on your monitor to turn it into an AM/FM transmitter.

The concept of sending high powered interference to try to disrupt a machine is really interesting. I'm not saying its easy or possible, but its by no means impossible, nor is it easy to prevent (short of lots and lots of shielding which means more weight which means more fuel..)

Re:Yet another DARPA idea straight out of sci-fi (1)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713910)

"We will tell you that in the world of the exciter, the holy grail is to get a universal design that can generate all the waveforms that you could possibly imagine," says Falco.

Sounds like Software-defined Radio [wikipedia.org] . You (yes, you) can buy one for under $1000 USD last I checked, but amps and antennas will cost you more.

Most of the engineering effort in SDR goes into the software, and there is of course a relevant open source project. To weaponize the tech you'll want to assemble a library of proven techniques, and on one level those are a matter of rather simple electrical engineering. If you want to do more than disable the mark, say feed it false information, the complexity goes up by an order of magnitude. Then they will want to have detailed information for each type of device they want to interfere with and have a way to defeat it before they engage it.

Usually military systems are isolated from other information systems such as the internet. This tech might bridge the gap by inducting a charge in for example exposed wires as a plane flies overhead and aims its directional antennas at them. The rest is in the hands of established military hackers.

Re:Yet another DARPA idea straight out of sci-fi (3, Interesting)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713492)

So it's kinda far fetched to plan on 0wnzoring your opponent's radars remotely by sending out data packets taking advantage of an exploit that your opponent can just patch with a firmware upgrade.

Yeah, it's kind of far-fetched. OTOH, if there is something exploitable in the electronics of an enemy system, it could be very useful to use that for a combat advantage. Imagine a comms system that can get overloaded with corrupt packets, and reboots itself. Even if you can only make an enemy radio unreliable instead of taking it out completely, he might miss out on key intel or orders.

Re:Yet another DARPA idea straight out of sci-fi (3, Interesting)

bmajik (96670) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713524)

The story blurb is of course ridiculous but i think you are downplaying the extent to which software/system vulnerabilities will be a factor in future conflicts. Especially due to the assymetrical, break once, break everywhere dynamics of attacking widely deployed IT.

I'm not sure who the US will use this against, but I suspect many people will be able to use IT attacks against the US. And it's going to be terribly effective, because getting new IT created, tested, deployed, and humans trained on how to run it, takes us a lot of time and money. But once some guy figures out how to break it... usually it's broken everywhere at once.

IOW: attacking the US's use of IT is going to be a force multiplier for people that don't like us. And they'll probably be able to do it on the cheap. Whatever they cannot figure out themselves, they can pay someone $5-$50k in Russia to figure out how to do for them.

I've heard that for a long time, ground-to-sat control signals weren't authenticated or encrypted. For a long time, screwing with Uncle Sam was kind of a "security through obscurity" sort of affair, but the clock has pretty much run down on that concept; seeing what kind of successful attacks are waged will be interesting.

Suppose for the sake of argument that some GPS-guidance system were using an off the shelf receiver that had support for the D-GPS standard [the stuff where a terrestrial signal is used to enhance accuracy]. Even though the military can use the "military grade" GPS, more and more work is getting accompolished using consumer receivers, so its only natural to assume that some may have this "local radio" feature that i seem to remember.

So what's to stop someone who has a factory he doesn't want getting blown up to introduce a huge "correction" offset into the local signal. Perhaps you can misdirect people and potentially munitions [not aware of any GPS guided munitions though].

Or suppose that our ground units aren't using encrypted comms all the time? suppose you've got a radio listener that records everything it hears, and correlates that with times, channels, etc. Some association rule mining and you have gleaned a working model of who is using the radio when, and what they are saying. Now you decide to start playing back the audio you previously recorded, and for some amount of time, everyone using radios is _really_ confused. Maybe you even call in a false operation or movement. Maybe you convince the US to bomb an orphanage by giving a _very_ authentic sounding (you just replay Private Pyle's voice, after all) request for ordinance at coordinates you control.

The weak link in all of these computer-aided decision systems is that humans beleive them when they shouldn't, and that humans don't do enough to protect them from tampering. rather than some kind of magic wave [which could very well work, for instance by somehow distrurbing the small gyroscopes that inertial nav systems use... but again, that would be ANTI aircraft instead of launched from aircraft], figuring out how to mis-use the technology to cause problems for the humans will be where successfull attacks come from.

If I were going to try and wreck the superior tech advantages of the US military, I'd start by understanding the sensor inputs to the machines that do the thinking. Are laser guided munitions effective in heavy fog or other light-attenuation situations? Can i build goggles that let me see where directed laser energy is currently lighting things up? If so, i can predict targets. If i have boots on the ground near the target, i can find out exactly where the illuminator is positioned (by placing a sheet 10m infront of hte target and working it through a range of motion to see when i am/am not illuminated). If i use several of my own laser designators, can I re-direct a laser-seeking munitions head?

The professionals have been playing war games a lot longer that I've been writing slashdot posts. But I know from an entire lifetime of working with software that there will always be bugs, and humans will beleive the machine when they shouldn't.

Re:Yet another DARPA idea straight out of sci-fi (1)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 4 years ago | (#31714326)

This is actually an interesting mental challenge. Could one posit a scenario where the U.S. military was actually defeated by an adversary that didn't have comparable technology and/or resources? Historically, it has happened. The Chinese forces the U.S. to retreat in the Korean war because they had ludicrous numbers of infantry troops in the field. However, the U.S. did manage to defeat their forces after regrouping. In Vietnam and in Iraq, the enemy has the means to send a lot of young men home in a body bag. However, the blunt truth is, American civilians can breed more young males, and the military can train em into soldiers faster than the enemy can kill us. A few thousand dead a year is not enough casualties that our military would actually run out of troops, no matter how long the war was.

The only scenario I thought of where this happens is where the enemy develops some kind of breakthrough, singularity level technology before the United States. Maybe red tape and government regulation stop U.S. researchers from developing the tech first. Strong AI or high end nanotechnology or something.

Re:Yet another DARPA idea straight out of sci-fi (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#31715722)

The only scenario I thought of where this happens is where the enemy develops some kind of breakthrough, singularity level technology before the United States.

Your premise is that we might be beaten by a country with inferior technology and resources, yet you think that country will develop the singularity?

Re:Yet another DARPA idea straight out of sci-fi (5, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713556)

I'm not so sure.

The reason is if we extrapolate the trends in computing to 2020 say, and we assume that huge number of devices that nobody thinks of might have by then a tiny processor with an IP (v6) address (eg think lightbulbs, windows, clothes, vehicles, air conditioners, hand-held tools, watches, helmets etc, etc), then it becomes really very hard to properly secure most buildings and assets.

In a war situation, you'd have troops moving about literally in a sea of potentially deadly gizmos with consumer grade quality of processing power, but even in friendly territory, building a truly secure working military base could turn out to be a complicated problem and maybe not possible.

What if nobody remembers that the cement in building C is connected to the internet and the firmware hasn't been updated (far fetched? There might be tiny sensors mixed into the cement, to help maintenance crews monitor the building better...)

It's likely that in 10 or 20 years, viruses designed to create random damage would be really hard to protect against, because a 100% controlled environment would be really hard to keep, and even 1% vulnerability could be exploited in a war scenario.

Today computer security is a lot easier, because there are so *few* computer systems, mostly big boxes with a local admin who can secure them.

Re:Yet another DARPA idea straight out of sci-fi (4, Funny)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713686)

Yeah DARPA what have they ever come up with that's panned out?

Now if you excuse me I'm gonna go surf the net a bit more.

Re:Yet another DARPA idea straight out of sci-fi (1)

VampireByte (447578) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713902)

This kind of sounds like the plane Johnny Depp's character was designing in The Astronaut's Wife.

Re:Yet another DARPA idea straight out of sci-fi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31714128)

read in a book somewhere.

Star Wars X-Wing series either Iron Fist or Solo Command had a scene where a person who was loyal to the New Republic but was a part of the Empire sent data through special low powered lasers because every other form of communication would have a chance of being intercepted.

Re:Yet another DARPA idea straight out of sci-fi (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31714184)

The best defence will be to have obsolete military hardware, i.e. be an opponent that the US is likely to pick a fight with.

Re:Yet another DARPA idea straight out of sci-fi (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 4 years ago | (#31714544)

Typical DARPA. They'll put research funding into any idea that they've seen on Star Trek or read in a book somewhere.

Specifically, this idea was in Cowboy Bebop, although in that episode, they required a physical link (they fired grapples at each other).

Re:Yet another DARPA idea straight out of sci-fi (1)

VisiX (765225) | more than 4 years ago | (#31714680)

If their government information security experts are as competent as ours I think there will be plenty of security holes for all.

Re:Yet another DARPA idea straight out of sci-fi (1)

SunTzuWarmaster (930093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31715906)

So it's kinda far fetched to plan on 0wnzoring your opponent's radars remotely by sending out data packets taking advantage of an exploit that your opponent can just patch with a firmware upgrade.

Even something as simple as a DoS attack that results in "enemy only gets 50% of orders" or "orders come 60 seconds later" could render a fairly valuable tactical advantage.

In the Navy (4, Funny)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713348)

I'm sure Navy guys have a lot of practice shooting coded "information" at each other during long stretches at sea.

TRON! (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713400)

Someone's been watching too much TRON lately...

Take that! You 0010100101001001011010010011110101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31713432)

Your momma was a cow chip!

Not Paying Attention (1)

Chris Rhodes (1059906) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713470)

"Kit, deactivate the burglar alarm for me". Hot chick blathers about microwave jammers and Michael picks the lock. Walks in and gets hit on the head with a 5 dollar crescent wrench.

Seriously, could you insert a memory wipe trojan in an embedded control computer for a radar guidance system, with this thing? Or are they thinking about emulating a flock of birds or something like that?

Interesting link.

I want a pony (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31713498)

but that's not gonna fucking happen either.

Re:I want a pony (3, Informative)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713548)

but that's not gonna fucking happen either.

Don't be so pessimistic! If you save your allowance, get a part-time job and cut back on buying snack foods, it could happen sooner than you think.

Re:I want a pony (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31713888)

Only on slashdot could a cutback in one's snackfood budget feed a horse.

hit 'em with a 404! (2, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713552)

finish them off with a 500!

What exactly will they attack? (3, Insightful)

SheeEttin (899897) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713612)

It's a nice concept, and there's probably a real application there, but the article sounds completely ridiculous.

a weapon system that can deliver cyber-effects through free space into an aperture

Uh-huh. The weapon is easy, convincing the enemy to add a weak point is the only snag.

The data beams would be packed with specialized waveforms and algorithms that work like keys to open networks.

Ooh! It's got waveforms! And algorithms!!

Okay, I'll assume that we infiltrate the enemy to attach an access point. Couldn't we just park a truck nearby and use a lower-power antenna? Or use an unsecured access point?

Re:What exactly will they attack? (1)

Garble Snarky (715674) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713794)

I think you need to consider a broader interpretation of the term "aperture"

Re:What exactly will they attack? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31714694)

I think you need to consider a broader interpretation of the term "aperture"

Now I'm thinking with portals!

Re:What exactly will they attack? (1)

throughwithit (897185) | more than 4 years ago | (#31715458)

Uh-huh. The weapon is easy, convincing the enemy to add a weak point is the only snag.

It would have to be the cyber-equivalent of the enemy leaving a 2m thermal exhaust port exposed to the surface...

The first packets (1)

CranberryKing (776846) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713626)

will say "Linksys" "Linksys". Then all the evil Matrix data will pour in and wreak havoc!

It's a series of... (1)

Dracos (107777) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713634)

Since when is Ted Stevens designing weapons systems for the Navy?

Future Information Wars (1)

NCamero (35481) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713662)

Do a search someday on " Information Wars 2025, Air Force". The information is not always for machines. Our soldiers will have protection from nervous system interference. While the 'terrorists' will hear, feel, and see, etc what ever we project onto them. Ever notice how the Slashdot war helmet resembles the tin-foil hat?

The geek shall inherit the technology (1)

moteyalpha (1228680) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713676)

I think it is all wasteful, but let them make all these things so complicated that only a genius could control them and finally we might have some intelligent leadership. Of course it might be SkyNet, but then we could have a really cool FPS that programmed itself. Then we could hide in caves and send cyborg drones to fight them and our drones would become sentient and then we could just use all the security camera feeds to watch the show.
And if the whole thing started making us feel guilty we could just give a jolt to our right temporo-parietal junction (RTPJ) and be all better.
In the future the soldiers will not be selected by how many pull ups they can do, but how many pencils they have in their pocket protector.

Had to happen sooner or later (3, Funny)

aquabat (724032) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713690)

Great. It's a spam gun. Way to go Uncle Sam. This thing has to contravene the Geneva Convention for inhumane weapons.

All software has bugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31713700)

My guess would be that these "data attacks" would probably be some form of clever fuzzing that would go after flaws in the systems and platforms of an adversary. I could see some sort of battlefield DDoS being a possibility, too.

Go Navy or Whomever! (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713728)

Let's hope this time they can figure out how to let the F-23/24/25/2whatever distinguish between a surface-to-air missile battery and a microwave oven emitter planted on a hospital.

That would be good. Maybe then they can take on the nine-year-old script kiddies and give them the spanking they deserve with this new data-stream shooter. With luck, they'll bring the project home at less than $3 trillion.

Rick Roll Rockets (4, Funny)

moteyalpha (1228680) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713782)

They could project goatse links into the enemy planes computers and while they are distracted, send a missile up their tailpipe. Oops, that might be a bad metaphor.

Re:Rick Roll Rockets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31714156)

It makes sense :D
Modern fighter jets are fly-by-wire ( computer controlled ) especially the droid un-man fighters.
Sending a Ctrl-Alt-Del to the enemy's fighter jets will cause its computer to reboot and crash the aircraft.
No more missles/cannons required. Lighter, fuel economical and faster aircraft.

What is this I don't even (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713802)

Looks like their funding procedure was hacked by skr1pt kiddies.

Don't think this would be awesome? (1)

billsayswow (1681722) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713836)

Go find the opening mini-series to the more recent Battlestar Galactica series, and watch the Cylons against the squads of Viper MkVIIs... There you go.

Pew pew (1)

xonar (1069832) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713862)

Ahhh, I've been laser'd!

STOP PLEASE!!!!!! (2, Funny)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713880)

Will everyone please stop ridiculing this article!

We must "shoot data streams containing 'specialized waveforms and algorithms" or the terrorists win!

Re:STOP PLEASE!!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31715664)

It is music waveforms from the latest Britney CD. If the "music" torture isn't enough, the RIAA/ACTA would finish the job with their lawyers etc.

PLEASE! This has _GOT_ to be 2 days late.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31713898)

Right? ....
right?!

This is obviously targetted at aggressive aliens.. (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 4 years ago | (#31713988)

So they'll need a Powerbook to transmit the virus.

Techniques generator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31714044)

I didn't know what one of these is until google helped.

The basic idea appears to be that you bounce a signal off the enemy radar array to jam it or generate false images in it, and use genetic algorithms to optimize the signal (a waveform based on a genetically controlled polynomial it seems) based on what it returns.
The fighter jet would include an "ECM Library" of algorithms from which the radar man and the genetic algorithms presumably can select functions to create new waveforms.

The way the article is written, it looks like fighter jets would also be somehow wirelessly hacking into enemy networks but I haven't seen anything in google about that. If there is anything like that, it would be cool if they could somehow "take over" enemy computing systems maybe via induced voltages somehow but the reality is probably more like hacking into a linksys router like some people have mentioned, i.e. war driving at Mach 1. You would have to be able to detect pretty sensitive return signals to know if you're having any effect and would seem like a pretty subtle mission for a fighter jet.

Military ECM concepts
Electronic Combat Systems [fas.org]

A paper
2 [ieee.org]
3 [acm.org]
4 [aip.org]
5 [dtic.mil]

Basic concept

Development of successful electronic countermeasure (ECM) techniques against target track radars is a time-consuming and expensive process. Recently, Nunez et al. reported a genetic algorithm (GA) optimization method for ECM techniques generation; this paper outlines the current effort to implement the approach with an operational radar system and to establish a methodology for arbitrary ECM signal generation in a closed-loop system. While this effort employs GA, the method applies equally to other optimization techniques. After defining the GA fitness function for a generic range gate pull off (RGPO) technique, the ECM signal is implemented with a very fast digital arbitrary waveform generator. The RGPO signal is injected into the radar environment, and the tracking radar response is measured and scored for optimization. The method is suitable for more sophisticated ECM signals and will be studied in future work.

Improvement of ECM Techniques through Implementation of a Genetic Algorithm

Abstract : This research effort develops the necessary interfaces between the radar signal processing components and an optimization routine, such as genetic algorithms, to develop Electronic Countermeasure (ECM) waveforms under a Hardware-in-the-Loop (HILS) architecture. The various ECM waveforms are stored in an ECM library, where an operator selects the desired function to use with a particular system. This optimization works with modular components, compared to previous research that embedded a genetic algorithm into the Range Gate Pulloff (RGPO) waveform optimization loop, which can be interchanged based upon the operator's desired hardware/software testing setup. The ECM library's first entries contain the RGPO and Velocity Gate Pull-off (VGPO) signals, developed mathematically for multiple polynomial profiles representing realistic moving false targets. The Lab-Volt training system and jammer pod provided a validation medium for the developed RGPO and VGPO waveforms. These waveforms were optimized using a Simulink model of the Lab-Volt radar system and the MATLAB Genetic Algorithm (GA) and Direct Search toolbox, contained in Version 7.4 (R2007a), using a defined parameter set, specified for the RGPO waveform. Integration of MATLAB code with Simulink models provides the necessary interfaces to transition from software radar models to actual system hardware. Results from GA optimization illuminate the necessity to specifically define the necessary constrains, both linear and nonlinear, imposed upon the environmental conditions. Given defined constraints relative to the Lab-Volt training system, the HILS architecture produced multiple constant velocity range profiles with walk-off ranges and maximum velocities similar to the Lab-Volt Jammer Pod.

Re:Techniques generator (3, Interesting)

SpzToid (869795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31714220)

So what you are saying is not only are we talking about war-driving at hypersonic speeds, but we're also bombing away at the Great Firewall of China in the process. I get it. Sort of like Top Gun meets The Matrix.

Only please God, please don't let Tom Cruise ever be Nemo, Mr. Anderson; whatever. No.

Unsecured wireless? (1)

sodafox (1135849) | more than 4 years ago | (#31714094)

It sounds to me like some Navy chief forgot to secure his home wifi access point, and someone leeched his Internet service or grabbed files from his Windows shares. "If these cyber-crooks are smart enough to hack my internets over the wireless, then maybe we can use some of Uncle Sam's loyal boys to do the same to those darn commies!"

Battlestar Gallactica? (2, Interesting)

PinkyGigglebrain (730753) | more than 4 years ago | (#31714180)

Isn't this how the Cylons killed most of the colonial tech?

Shot in a beam of data via the ECM systems and activated the "kill switch" 6 had planted in the new software.

As long as they could get the exploitable code into the system this might work.

Cue the "Windows for Warplanes" jokes...

In Other News (1)

senorpoco (1396603) | more than 4 years ago | (#31714248)

The Marines are looking for some kind of portable unicorn weapon. which can fire rainbows from it's horn to infiltrate the hearts of evil men.

Type of prey? (1)

mach1980 (1114097) | more than 4 years ago | (#31714272)

A buffer overflow attack through the radar/sigint aperture into a Mig-29 is rather a stretch.

My guess is that they will first focus on taking down UAVs made by terrorists. Those types of aircrafts will most likley use the public part of GPS. That signal is *easy* to overpower and/or fake. Same for control signals used by ordinary radio controlled crafts.

Data Beams (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31714274)

Data beams onto the enemy ship to save Riker who has been taken hostage by the aliens.

A data weapon? I know of some. (1)

ffreeloader (1105115) | more than 4 years ago | (#31714454)

If the Navy really wants to kill people with excessive input, I know several people I could introduce them to. A few minutes of listening to these people and you want to kill yourself to get away as they never, ever, stop talking.

Modern warfare! (1)

andrea.sartori (1603543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31714608)

- Enemy ship in view, Capt'n!
- Good! Let's BSOD the hell out of them!
- Capt'n! It appears they run Linux!
- Crap!

fp BITCH (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31714688)

Are you GAY wall: *BSD faces a Worse and 3orse. As minutes now while THE POINT MORE fear the r3aper Project somewhere

I have one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31715326)

cat /dev/random

Thanks. That'll be $75 million. Paypal details to be provided later.

Re:I have one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31715370)

cat /dev/random

Thanks. That'll be $75 million. Paypal details to be provided later.

Oh yea. I forgot to add: if you need the high-range version, you'll need a Pringles can. The specifics of the technology will be provided after initial paymen.

Simple brute force solution (1)

Lost Penguin (636359) | more than 4 years ago | (#31715594)

Electromagnetic pulse?

Remember to use an Apple Powerbook... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31716202)

If they can help stop Armageddon, they'll probably work anywhere!

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