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US Begins Sophisticated Wireless Jamming Project

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the space-jam dept.

The Military 157

coondoggie writes "Looking to begin developing algorithms and other technology to automatically learn to jam certain new wireless transmissions that may threaten US military personnel, BAE Systems recently got about $8.4 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to begin work on what's known as the Behavioral Learning for Adaptive Electronic Warfare (BLADE) system. According to DARPA: As wireless communication devices become more adaptive and responsive to their environment by using technology such as Dynamic Spectrum Allocation, the effectiveness of fixed countermeasures may become severely degraded. The BLADE program will develop algorithms and techniques that will let our electronic warfare systems automatically learn to jam new RF threats in the field."

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Twa da Night afo' Crizzmus (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34755772)

Wus da night afo' Crizzmus, and all thru da hood,
everybody be sleepin' and da sleepin' be good.
We hunged up our stockins, an hoped like all heck,
dat Obama gunna brang us our welfare checks.

All of da family, was layin' on da flo',
my sister wif her gurlfriend, my brother wif some ho.
Ashtrays was all full, empty beer cans and all
when I heared such a fuss, I thunk...."Sh'eet, must be da law".

I pulled the sheet off da window and what I'ze could see,
I was spectin' the sherrif, wif a warrent fo' me.
But what did I see, made me say, "Lawd look 'a dat!"
Dere was a huge watermelon, pulled by eight big-ass rats.

Now ovah da years, Santy Claws he be white,
but it looks like us brotha's, got a black un' tonight.
Faster than a poe'lice car, my homeboy he came,
and whupped up on dem rats, as he called dem by name.

On Biden, On Jessie, On Pelosi and Hillary Who,
On Fannie, On Freddie, On Ayers, and Slick Willy too.
Obama landed dat melon, right there in da street,
I knowed it fo' sho', - can you believe that Sheet?

Dat Santy didn't need no chimley, he picked da lock on my do',
an I sez to myself, "Son o' bitch..he don did dis befo!"
He had a big bag, full of presents - at first I suspeck?
Wif "Air Jordans" and fake gold, to wear roun' my neck.

But he left me no presents, just started stealin my shit.
He got my guns and my crack, and my new burglers kit.
Den, wif my shit in his bag, out da windo' he flew,
I sho' woulda shanked him, but he snagged my blade too!

He jumped back on dat melon, wif out even a hitch,
and waz gone in two seconds, da democrat sonofabitch.
So nex year I be hopin', a white Santy we git,
'cause a black Santy Claws, just ain't worf a shit!

Wireless Jammn'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34755800)

ELECTRIC GUITARS WITH NO STRINGS!

Looks like they have just adopted Guitar Hero

Only $8 Million ? (1)

rwv (1636355) | more than 3 years ago | (#34755826)

This doesn't sound like a lot of money to develop a system that seems like it would be fairly novel and revolutionary.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (2)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34755938)

I wish they'd spend 8 million to get Cell phone jammers at theatres. If there is ONE place where reception should not be possible its half way into a great drama.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756038)

You can buy cell phone jammers over the counter (where legal), and some places, theatres have them.

Fine dining restaurants should also have them, IMO. How important it is for you to be reachable shouldn't affect my being able to enjoy peace and quiet.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (0)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756288)

And, will you be still saying that when a doctor or other emergency worker doesn't get a page because you didn't want to be disturbed? There isn't a legitimate reason for jamming things and it's definitely not an appropriate solution to assholes forgetting to set their phone on vibrate.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34756340)

The doctor, and the "emergency worker," have responsibilities that I don't. They knew that ahead of time, before playing "ringity-ding-ding-dingety-dong" all over the moment. Thus, this argument is spurious.

More to the point, in both of these situations (during a film, fine dining), the *management* should cheerfully and promptly eject those who disturb others, immediately, every time. And those "others" should applaud, or at least be appreciative. That way, it's not "being a jerk - WITH A CELLPHONE" but rather, being a jerk, any type.

Make sense?

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34756772)

First of all, you're being a hypersensitive douchebag. The rest of us grin and bear it, so quit whining like a pompous little bitch.

Second of all, if the establishment you're eating at doesn't appropriately cater to your dainty ear drums, perhaps you should take your business elsewhere.

The reality is, the people receiving those phone calls PROBABLY ARE just that much more important than your entitled ass. Otherwise, the waiter WOULD eject them from any suitably reputable place of dining.

Whatever color of self-important idiot you are, getting caught with a cell-phone jammer for such trivial reasons should be grounds for a felony conviction with no jail time or probation. Just a good old fashion black balling to let the world know what a self-righteous prick who would interfere with the delivery of a life saving SMS message to a phone on vibrate looks like!

All because what? Your sensitive disposition can't handle the offense of an occasional 3 second accidental ring tone while you dine at "Le Pretentiouse"?

What set off your passive aggressive PTSD anyway? Teacher? Give a lot of "SUPER IMPORTANT" serious business powerpoint presentations?

What's actually going on here is that you fly by the seat of your pants so much, and are running so far out beyond your actual qualifications that an interrupted thought process actually bodes poorly on your ability to deliver a presentation.

Got bullied alot in school so you clawed you way in to some government management position where you fell up in to a chair fit for a pointy haired boss such as yourself. Now you're happy because you actually get "the respect you deserve" from a bunch of underlings who recognize that flattery and glad handling your ego are the easiest way to mitigate the political impact of their idiot boss, and minimize his interference in their affairs. Eventually, they'll be stolen from your fiefdom by more competent managers who will actually enrich their careers, which is why your employees are constantly "moving" for "family reasons" or a "change of pace."

Now, you've grown so accustomed to being treated like royalty(so that you'll stay out of the way of actual work being done) that when someone who's ACTUALLY important in this world, gets a phone call: it offends your sensibilities. How DARE they take their work home with them?!

Maybe: there is justice in this world and the source of your migraine is some IT worker fresh out of college who hasn't got enough experience on his resume to get away from bridge trolls such as yourself. Just maybe, that phone call raping your ears is from some other fascist pointy haired boss who doesn't respect his employees boundaries.

That's not irony, that's poetic justice.

Hit a nerve? A little bit butthurt? U MAD? Please, prove me right and try to dismiss the above as a "Rant".

Shove that chinese noise maker up your ass.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34757418)

Nice rant, turn it right back on yourself for the massive overreaction to the post you replied to.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (3, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756420)

And, will you be still saying that when a doctor or other emergency worker doesn't get a page because you didn't want to be disturbed?

Maybe the "doctor" should get a phone that vibrates. With what he makes, I assume he could afford it.

Of all the times I've been disturbed by cell phones at the movies, symphony, opera or library, I very much doubt that any of the offending calls were of this "emergency" nature. Usually, it's just assholes being assholes.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (0)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756686)

Maybe the "doctor" should get a phone that vibrates. With what he makes, I assume he could afford it.

Maybe they do. Maybe there are plenty of people getting important calls without bothering you, and you want to cut them all off because a few jerks don't have it on vibrations.

This is a social problem that shouldn't be resolved by jamming. I propose a "ringing cellphone fee" with their dinner bill.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34757484)

Maybe the "doctor" should get a phone that vibrates. With what he makes, I assume he could afford it.

Please, if you are technically illiterate, don't make suggestions how to solve problems with technology.

If you are jamming cell phones, it doesn't matter if the phone has a vibrate option. It won't ring, it won't vibrate, it won't do anything, because some asshole has decided that nobody ought to be able to use a cellphone anywhere near him because he's so fucking special and his rights are more important than everyone else's. Even when everyone else is being nice and polite and using vibrate setting.

My phone has a vibrate option. It also has the buttons to set this on the side of the phone where they often get pushed and it comes out of vibrate mode all by itself. Like butt-dialing. So I have the volume on the ringer turned down all the time, too. I've missed some important calls because of that. All because I thought I was being polite to assholes who don't care and don't think I should be able to get warnings about my house heating system failing or my work disk arrays falling apart while I'm not at home or at work.

I'm turning my ringer on high and locking it there. Screw you.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34757536)

Maybe emergency workers shouldn't be out ruining my time when they are on call.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

jftitan (736933) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756542)

Pagers work on a different frequency than Cell phones.

  Many Jammers have been proven to jam just the cellular freq. and Pagers still work. I personally have seen EMTs and Doctors still receive their pages while their phones are sufficiently jammed.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756708)

Bullshit, the theaters and nice restaraunts should put up some sort of faraday cage. Nobody HAS TO be on call 24/7/365; the surgeon and the fireman should be able to have a replacement ready when he's at the theater or sleeping.

There didn't used to be such things as pagers, and folks got along just fine. There is no excuse for a phone to ring in a theater or (worse) in church, PERIOD. If you absolutely, positively HAVE to have you goddamned phone on 24/7, stay the hell out of churches, theaters, and any restaraunt that has wait staff.

YOU ARE NOT THAT GODDAMNED IMPORTANT. Nobody is.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34756824)

God apparently didn't care if I took a call during his time so therefore I shouldn't have to care about "His time." So, I gave up religion.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756840)

People used to get buy fine with horses too, lets ban cars!

Some people really do need to be on call. As one who is on call often I use the vibrate function and call them back after exiting the theater or restaurant dining area, no church for me so that not an issue. You are trying to solve a social problem with a technical solution, that never works.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34757250)

You are trying to solve a social problem with a technical solution, that never works

Social problem: your family is scattered all over the globe. Technical solution -- planes, trains, automobiles, telephones, and internet.

People used to get buy fine with horses too, lets ban cars!

Paris To Test Banning SUVs In the City [slashdot.org]

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

colsandurz45 (1314477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34757488)

Bullshit on you. This system isn't about jamming pagers and cell phones. That technology already exists and has existed. This is about jamming cognitive radios in war theaters and perhaps this is about jamming illegal secondary access users in dynamic spectrum access scenarios.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

flipperdo (1172057) | more than 3 years ago | (#34757660)

Great, so the one night a year that my wife and I actually get to go out, we can't go to a movie or a nice restaurant because our babysitter won't be able to contact us if there's a problem?

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756812)

The problem I see is that we have two camps that are so set on being right that the obvious solution doesn't even get considered.

Camp 1: We should ban cell phones, or at the very least jam them so that they are functionally no longer a cell phone because those particular sounds offend my senses!
Camp 2: It is up to the individual to be responsible for their actions, so any interference at all is an offense to my senses!

Camp 1 is ridiculous, as the theaters and restaurants could kick out patrons who make noise. They find it more profitable to not do that though. Other public places are, well, public places, and expecting public places to be quiet is absurd. They also ignore the fact that people do want to be contacted in the case of an emergency, or even for really important things.
Camp 2: Likes to ignore the fact that when you get enough people, someone (and likely multiple people) are going to keep pushing the envelope to the point that someone else snaps, just for the attention. They also ignore the fact that humans make mistakes, so even if people's intent IS to turn their phone off in theaters someone is going to forget.

There are not that many cell phone manufacturers. There are even fewer carriers. If Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile would agree on a simple carrier signal on a particular frequency to be considered a REQUEST to put the phone into silent mode, the problem would be solved. We could set phones to accept the request, and thus any business that doesn't want noise could turn our phones to vibrate WITH OUR PERMISSION. Everyone would still receive their calls. Anyone who didn't accept the quite request could be considered to be doing it on purpose, and thus the business would be in a more reasonable position to throw them out. We could set our phones to deny the request if we found certain places that the most extreme of Camp 1 decided to abuse the ability. This would also make a clear line between those that are offended by noise, and those that are offended by technology existing.

The best case scenerio is getting the FCC to set aside a specific frequency for this, as well as set rules for broadcast strength. While that would not physically stop anyone from abusing it, it would make it similar to what we have with FM. Anyone can jam FM frequencies. It does happen on occasion. Not often, and when it does, there can be legal ramifications. We can still buy low power FM transmitters for short range personal use. And if someone abuses the signal by transmitting at high power, the worst that happens is the phone goes into vibrate mode.

There is nothing technologically difficult about this solution. Failure means either a phone ringing when someone wants it quite, which already is happening. Or, a phone goes into vibrate mode when someone wants the noise. Annoying, but not the end of the world, and better than all out jamming.

Phone owners can get their calls, which is presumably what the polite people from Camp 2 are asking for, and Quiet people can get their quiet, which is presumably what the polite people from Camp 1 are asking for.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34757230)

I say that doctors and other emergency workers who are ON CALL have no business being in a theatre or fine dining establishment in the first place.
If they're expected to be able to respond immediately, they should be where they can respond immediately.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (0)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34757696)

So, in other words doctors should never be allowed to go to the movies or a nice dinner because they could get called. Not all doctors have the luxury of going off call, particular doctors that work by themselves. They might be needed for an emergency in the middle of the night. There are times when a particular doctor genuinely is the person that needs to be contacted, and while they can arrange for a sub for short term vacations, they probably still need to be available via phone if possible.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34756316)

You are so right.

That guy whose health depends on clarification from the Attending is just going to have to wait. That or the attending should just have to sacrifice their entire lives for their jobs-- it's not like you'll ever need their help, so why give them any sort of respect or dignity?

And anyway, either way-- the guy dies, or the doctor stays home, and that's more shrimp for the rest of us, eh?

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756430)

You are so right.

That guy whose health depends on clarification from the Attending is just going to have to wait. That or the attending should just have to sacrifice their entire lives for their jobs-- it's not like you'll ever need their help, so why give them any sort of respect or dignity?

Yes, because after all they're at liberty to take a vacation on the other side of the world, go caving, go on a wilderness hike whilst on call. Oh, wait, no they can't. If they're on call their movements are limited already.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756790)

There's a difference between being physically limited and being stopped because the restaurant owners are too afraid to do something about jerks. There are other ways to deal with them besides jamming everyone's cellphones, including those who are in vibrating mode and not bothering anyone.

I suggested above adding a ringing cellphone fee to the check (and warning about it on the entrance). If they see their bill going up 30% they might remember next time.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756884)

No, but being able to answer a phone does not mean they should be trapped at home. They should use vibrate and take the call outside or in the bathroom. Stop trying to solve social problems with technical solutions. Fun hint, the folks you are complaining about are not folks on call, the ones you care about are kids and losers. To get rid of those, just boot them from the theater when they answer inside.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756924)

If you are on call 24hrs a day then YES. You should give up your freedoms during your NOT FREE TIME so that it dose not infringe upon the freedoms of those that are actually enjoying their FREE TIME.

Just like you used to be able to got out without screaming babies. Now because Mommies deserve to go out. We have to suffer. Mommyhood is a choice. Do not make just the part of the choice that is convenient for you and let the rest of us pick up the suffering for you. Fuck those people. They are inconsiderate asses.

Rant over.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34757532)

If you are on call 24hrs a day then YES. You should give up your freedoms during your NOT FREE TIME so that it dose not infringe upon the freedoms of those that are actually enjoying their FREE TIME.

Oh, God, please let there be an amendment to the Constitution listing "the right to never be annoyed by anyone else in public ever" so I can sue every asshole who chews gum or bumps into me or coughs loudly or, God forbid, looks at his cellphone because a message about his kids just came in and his phone vibrated soundlessly in his pocket. Please let's codify this "right" somewhere so all those jerks who think it exists will be happy.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 3 years ago | (#34757684)

There dose not need to be a constitutional amendment, or even a law.

Very few people these days understand this but all it would take is for people to have 2 things.

1. Common Courtesy.
2. Personal Responsibility.

I know it seems to you archaic to want or even worse to expect people to behave this way. Though it is a world I would much rather live in. In my personal life these are the people I try to surround myself with. These are the people we used to be when we were a great nation.
Though now it seems that greatness, personal responsibility and common courtesy are things that when mentioned or expected draw the ire of the masses. You are correct in seeing that this is so. That dose not make any less sad that it is so or that you seem to be at ease with it.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34756972)

How about worrying more about the peace and quiet and not the source of it. Is it really worse for the guy to be talking on phone loudly instead of just loud and drunk to the person next to him?

Re:Only $8 Million ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34757150)

"You can buy cell phone jammers over the counter (where legal), and some places, theatres have them."

I don't believe they're legal anywhere.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756150)

No you don't. You wish people'd be more considerate.

The difference is a cell phone jammer won't stop a PSP/DS/Watch/iPod etc.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756496)

I don't wish for impossible things.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756530)

But you do wish for foolish things? Much cooler.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34756636)

I don't wish for impossible things.

Neither do I. I just wish you'd have a heart attack in the theater, and die before anyone could get to you.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

jittles (1613415) | more than 3 years ago | (#34755948)

Seems like a lot of money to me. A friend of mine once created an 802.11a jammer out of a cordless phone and it only took him a day or two. The first go around his reprogrammed phone would block a specific channel. With the second iteration it would find what channel you were on and block it out so that you couldn't do frequency hopping. It would even take out a broad spectrum cordless that was using multiple channels at once. Granted they want something that blocks more than just one frequency range, but it doesn't sound very much different than what my friend did.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756100)

Heck, couldn't he just jam something in the door switch for his microwave and leave the door open?

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756836)

Hey! That's how I cook things that are too big to fit in the microwave.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

girlintrainingpants (1954872) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756136)

Ummm...good luck with that. WIFI is notoriously easy to jam. You can barrage jam every frequency in the band with a low-power transmitter, say 10-20dBm, and no one is going to get through. No decision mechanism needed.

If you're paying to develop an ECCM anti-jamming algorithm, you are going to be working with systems that were built with jamproofing in mind in the first place. This is NOT the case with WIFI. With sophisticated modulation schemes, you have spatial and frequency multiplexing. As in, spread spectrum that actually works and may have tens of GHz of bandwidth and with 10 or 20 degrees of beamwidth. It's still jammable despite trying to keep it from being jammed by brute force or intelligence (read--someone gets the PN code), and these guys want to figure out at least how to automatically keep that from happening. This is going to involve a lot of data analysis because there are a lot of ways to jam a "stealthy" signal in the first place.

Mod parent up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34756354)

Looks like someone who knows what she's talking about. You work for a research company or contractor?

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756364)

Right, but wouldn't the very behavior of such a system betray what THEY were using to communicate? It seems like it would only take a few minutes to find out which parts of the spectrum DARPA's machine had whitelisted, and then you could simply jam only THAT.

Sounds like a relatively stupid idea to me.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

quickgold192 (1014925) | more than 3 years ago | (#34757420)

Except that "whitelist" is constantly changing (every .001 seconds, apparently) and is as predictable as the frequency-hopping devices, which, unless you have the three components the gp mentioned, is rather unpredictable.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756152)

so why didn't he submit a proposal to the BAA? i mean, it's gotta be a simple solution, right? I'm sure all the military's worried about are non-adversarial civilian signals. I'm sure they're just worried about narrowband low power transmissions with a clear IEEE spec.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

jittles (1613415) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756666)

Now I could have been mistaken but I thought this was to jam signals that threatened military personnel, and I made the assumption that they were referring to IEDs. I know that they do not depend on jamming signals for IR or RF missiles.

AFAIK they only use COTS components to create these IEDs, though I suppose they could use more sophisticated military grade comm systems. Heck even police departments are getting into more sophisticated realms w/ regard to radio comm.

But based on my knowledge of government contracts, most of the cost will be to cover documentation and project management overhead costs.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756168)

Keep in mind that they want to jam ALL of the enemy (and civilian) wireless transmissions, but none of their own. That's a little more complukated.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34757240)

Also they can't jam emergany signals like 911 for instance, because that would be a war crime.

This has to be smart enough to detect a cell phone call. Determine that if it's hostile or not block it and it has to do all the before the signal reaches the IED. Basically in a few millisecond or less. An added bonus is if it can detect where the original hostile transmission started from.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (5, Informative)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756294)

It's actually pretty complicated. I used to be a military communications officer, so I have some idea of what they're trying to do here. The way modern military radios work is they take an entire spectrum and jump frequencies around a hundred times a second (that's what the US radios do, I assume enemy technology to be on par) based on an algorithm, a frequency plan, and a randomly generated salt which is a shared secret between all the radios. Unless you have all three pieces or you can use something like this adaptive "smart jammer" they want to develop, you can't jam the radios without jamming the entire spectrum. That's possible of course, but a) it takes a lot of power and b) it typically jams your radios too.

The trick here is that you don't want to create a radio "dead space" you want to jam enemy communications while leaving your own untouched. Your friend created a broad spectrum jammer. It crudely killed anything in the immediate area that was trying to use any frequency close to the one he was broadcasting on. Since there's a fairly limited number of channels that wifi runs on, and they're published frequency ranges, it was fairly trivial to scan each channel (which a WAP is doing anyway) to jam the correct one, or just broadcast on all of them. Now imagine your trying to jam a device that can use any frequency in the VHF range, has a list of 10,000 freqs it may be using, is changing freqs once every .001 seconds, and is jumping in away that appears random without the algorithm and salt. You probably have the algorithm, but the salt is only stored on secure devices that self wipe after either a certain number of failed password attempts or any attempt to access the internals. On top of that, since the enemy is almost certainly using more than one channel to communicate, you have to sort which devices are one which channels. All of which are that complicated. Finally, you have to do all of this without impacting your own communication systems which are doing the same thing on the same freq band.

Still seem easy?

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 3 years ago | (#34757260)

Jam everything but the channel in your time splice. (Almost certainly harder than it sounds)

Re:Only $8 Million ? (2)

IICV (652597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34757456)

Yes.

Take an array of directional antennas, figure out where the target signal is coming from, and throw a missile at it.

Signal jammed.

Repeat until there are no more signals to jam.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (4, Insightful)

raymansean (1115689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34755976)

to quote the summary: "$8.4 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to begin work on what's known as the Behavioral Learning for Adaptive Electronic Warfare..." This is likely a phase 1 or 2 porject were they have to show proof of concept. This is the DOD we are talking about, I am sure that before BLADE is done that the total cost will be in the 100's of millions.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756106)

DARPA does basic research. that's actually fairly sizable. the effort will likely focus on the basic science and technology implementation. when the "System" gets funded, expect 3 more zeros at the end.

Re:Only $8 Million ? (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756358)

8 million dollars will pay a few salaries for a year - rule of thumb at my work is each engineer costs 250-300k per year, in terms of space, equipment, salary, benefits, infrastructure. So, figure that pays a team of 10-12 people, with plenty of money left over for some hardware purchases for a prototype.

The summary is pretty clear that this is "to begin work on developing" a new system, it's not for the entire system - think of this as proof-of-concept phase. Somebody has a few smart ideas and says, "if we had some money, we could probably make something workable out of this." So DARPA gives them some cash, and says "show us what you can do."

If it's promising, it's likely it'll turn into a much larger program funded by the DoD procurement budget, rather than DARPA.

In an industry that already spends billions (1)

Tisha_AH (600987) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756520)

Jamming has been going on since the second day after radio was developed. New technologies are developed to adapt to jamming conditions, then jammers get more complex to go after the new tech.

I learned many jamming techniques and countermeasures in a few graduate level courses on receiver design back in the mid 80's. What was being done was very complex, and we were only exposed to the "SENSITIVE NOFOR" security classification of what was going on. "Gating" a radar was developed back in WWII, frequency hopping around the same time, same with spread spectrum. When we were learning the tech the jamming systems could detect and jump on a new frequency in a few milliseconds. Nowadays I bet those response times are in the tens of microseconds and cover everything from "DC to daylight".

The US government would spend $8 million dollars to develop one model of a particular jammer and not blink twice at a $50,000/ unit purchase price. This would have been news if there were three more zeros after the price tag.

To quote one of the jamming targets (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34755846)

"I've lost the bleeps, I've lost the creeps, and I've lost the sweeps!"

(or watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXKOsajNZY4 [youtube.com] )

Re:To quote one of the jamming targets (1)

bytethese (1372715) | more than 3 years ago | (#34755886)

That's not all he's lost...

Re:To quote one of the jamming targets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34755890)

...L O N E S T A R ! ! !

Re:To quote one of the jamming targets (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756158)

This video contains content from mgm, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.

Sigh!

Re:To quote one of the jamming targets (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34757362)

They're censoring Spaceballs in your country? That's obscene!

May the farce be with you.

Blocked on copyright grounds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34756738)

It's available on ebaumsworld, though: http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/789647/ [ebaumsworld.com]

Old News? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34755850)

Maybe it's just because I'm in the sector but isn't beginning of BLADE old news? I recall reading something about this a year or more ago.

BLADE (1)

I8TheWorm (645702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34755854)

Behavioral Learning for Adaptive Electronic Warfare (BLADE)

Acronym fail? Or did they realize quickly that BLAEW would be pronounced "blew" and saw what happened when the FBI created the WTF?

Re:BLADE (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34755910)

Behavioral Learning for ADaptive Electronic warfare

Military-types like to get creative with which letters they pick for their acronyms.

Re:BLADE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34755926)

As is common with these snazzy acronyms, they don't take the first letter of each word.

Behavioral Learning for ADaptive Electronic warfare

Re:BLADE (1)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#34755930)

Behavioral Learning for ADaptive Electronic warfare, and yes, even a bureaucracy can learn to avoid being embarrassed in public.

Besides, this is the DoD - they want an acronyms that sounds like a weapon anyway.

Re:BLADE (3, Funny)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#34755994)

I'm convinced that they come up with the acronym first and then backronym it into a phrase. The military acronyms usually have names that an 8-year old would think are pretty cool for some GI Joe toys.

The thing I still wonder about, though, is whether they first pick the acronym, then pick the phrase, then invent a need and a project to fit the phrase.

Re:BLADE (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756002)

The Cocaine Importation Agency was the one that created the Wikileaks Task Force, unless you're referring to another WTF within the Famous But Ineffective.

Re:BLADE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34756054)

To BLAEW, it means to bluff. Obviously you were playing cards, and he cheated...

Re:BLADE (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756058)

Hey ... the guys at the Tactical Advanced Acronym Research Division don't take kindly to having their work disrespected.

Re:BLADE (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756068)

Behavioral Learning for Adaptive Electronic Warfare (BLADE). Acronym fail?

No, it's a case of bending the name or the way the acronym is made up, to make an acronym sound clever. So it's "Behavioral Learning for ADaptative Electronic warfare".

Uncyclopedia calls it a case of TTHTMAFPCW [wikia.com] . The US government has been trying really to TTHTMAFPCW lately ("USA PATRIOT Act" for instance)...

Re:BLADE (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756144)

Does it make those who deploy these systems Blade Runners?

Warfare is their business, and therefore redundant (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756180)

So they can leave the Warfare out. Or is there an 147st Mobile Pizza Baker Infantry? Or a 139th Airborne Flower Pickers? Warfare is the military's core competency, so they can leave it out of the acronym.

Plus, folks with lots of weapons can choose whatever acronym they damn choose.

Re:BLADE (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756300)

No, this is a military-style acronym, where you drop words that don't fit and use abbreviations instead of initials where convenient, just to get a cool-sounding word.

Behavioral Learning for Adaptive Electronic warfare. BLAdE.

Re:BLADE (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756858)

"Behavioral Learning for Adaptive Electronic warfare"

Then why not just go with:

behavioral learning for adaptive elecTRONic warfare" => TRON

and called it a day? Way more hip than blade...

Personally, though I think...

behaVIoRAl LeaRning for ADaptIve electrOnic WarfARe. => VIRALRADIO

is more memorable than yet another "BLADE" system.

Where is ... (2)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#34755942)

... Hedy Lamarr [wikipedia.org] now that we really need her?

Re:Where is ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34757022)

That's Hedley [youtube.com] !

Financial Time Series Analysis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34755970)

I am looking forward to applying these new algos to analyzing financial times series data. Then I can use the power of mathematics to become a bazillionaire. Who cares if it eventually blows up due to underverified assumptions and wrecks the savings and wealth of millions of people. At least I'll be rich enough not to care.

Old Technology in a new dress (4, Informative)

t00le (136364) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756030)

This technology has been around since the 60's and was used before the Vietnam war, as well as during the Vietnam War makes this non-news.

Do a little research and you will find out that during the Apollo moon mission that Army Intelligence at Ft Hood jammed a frequency outside of the listed bands. Apparently they were field testing high powered multi-frequency jammers before being deployed into Vietnam. The field manual was very light and they were instructed to avoid certain bands that were coded red. It turned out to be a private frequency for NASA, which caused a two minute loss of communication with the Apollo team. The reason they knew about the Apollo comm link was two truckloads of intelligence spooks arrive at the site of their outpost. They were interviewed and informed that they had inadvertently knocked Houston's comms down and caused a two minute panic because the primary frequency and the backup frequency were unavailable for communication with the Apollo astronauts.

VFW halls, best halls.

8 million here, 8 million there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34756078)

...and pretty soon you're talking about the most expensive, most powerful government AND world empire (with military bases in some 150 countries around the world) that has ever existed.

Sure is a great time to be in the business of government, isn't it? The bigger your cash flow, the better positioned you are to exploit that cash flow for personal gain.

Re:Old Technology in a new dress (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34756118)

Not to mention Picard and his crew used this to weaponize the Enterprise's deflector dish to weaken the Borg.

Re:Old Technology in a new dress (2)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756362)

The occasional EW mishap is legendary, fleeting, and cautionary. Everything from NASA to AT&T has been hit by this. British telecom has a few stories to tell, as well as most of Europe. Darned pods go off at the drop of a wrench.

But this is definitely NOT something that's been around since the 60s. We think of EW traditionally as an anti-radar weapon, until we realized that jamming communicaitons from the radar to the launch control trailer was just as effective at neutralizing SAM threats. Still problems with various IR-guided shoulder- and vehicle-launched weapons, but there you go to infrared and that's a whole 'nother area of specialization.

So jamming comm means you risk jamming your own, since most militaries have observed treaties and kept to certain bands, except in wartime when they surely don't much care. This means you have to have frequency-agile systems that can be adapted to battle regimes where you don't much care what bands you're on. Since trying to communicate on frequencies that are already in use is difficult, you go to either less-used freqs, or hop around finding spots that are not in use, if only for a few seconds.

BLADE seems focused on essentially determining if transmissions are: 1)not friendly, 2)not benign, and 3)suspicious.

"Not friendly" is fairly easy to determine if you have enough theater information to know what your own forces are using. This will not always be the case, so this is as difficult a problem as any other.

"Not benign" will be a lot more interesting. It's probably just as important to know what is innocuous as it it so know what is "suspicious".

I'm a little surprised that BLADE isn't more obviously intertwined with battlefield comm intelligence. Not very useful to jam your own comm. But if we can communicate with Voyager 2, we can certainly burn through the clutter and keep comm going in a busy battlefield environment.

It's sometimes more useful to listen to your adversary than it is to prevent their communications. But BLADE might be destined to be an offensive weapon. Imagine how D-day might have gone if the Allies had been able to completely deny communications from France to Germany. Of how Vietnam might have gone if we had eliminated the North's ability to communicate electronically, at all. Something as simple as docking a cargo ship or dispatching trains could turn into a quagmire. Yes, you can jam landline telephones. No, it isn't pretty. The collateral damage includes civilian deaths from loss of emergency response and hospital communications. You can be sure that both Iraq campaigns used these tactics, at least selectively.

Almost makes we want to get back into the field. The idea of hiding an aircraft carrier is almost as interesting in being able to frustrate your enemy's communications so well that they end up screaming in plaintext. Ah, modern warfare. Some day we'll start a war campaign by convincing the enemy to order 3 million Pampers instead of 3 million pairs of boots. Then we'll tell them "Look! Ponies!"

Re:Old Technology in a new dress (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756370)

Tell ya what... I don't fell like typing my response to a previous and similar comment out again, so click my name and read it. Suffice to say this is WAY more complicated. Modern frequency hopping radios are impossible to jam without taking out the entire spectrum. Which tends to screw with friendly comms.

Re:Old Technology in a new dress (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34756490)

Agreed, knocking a UHF spacecraft transponder out in the 60's-70's is a completely different ball game than deciphering someone else's gold codes, or chip codes, and then jamming them. This technology is literally being designed to jam, signals that are inherently unjammable (like GPS).

Re:Old Technology in a new dress (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756876)

Yep. I did this in the eighties and it was pretty much the same thing. The only possible difference is that besides brute force jamming we also had to capture and analyze the signals (often bouncing and wobbling among several frequencies) and attempt to mimic them, in a short enough time to be useful. (Like, before the missile hits you.) My first programming job (all in assembler).

Why is this news? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756066)

If you are putting our self-sacrificing service men and women in harm's way, you damn well better be doing EVERYTHING you can to try to protect them. This is a trivial amount of money compared to what we are pissing away every day in Iraq and Afghanistan, even if the desired goal is something of a long shot.

Re:Why is this news? (2)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756232)

If you are putting our self-sacrificing service men and women in harm's way, you damn well better be doing EVERYTHING you can to try to protect them. This is a trivial amount of money compared to what we are pissing away every day in Iraq and Afghanistan, even if the desired goal is something of a long shot.

Agreed. So how about spending some money to keep our promises to take care of them AFTER their service is completed. Funding for various VA programs is pathetic, and every jagoff who utters the phrase "...our self-sacrificing service men and women..." should be ashamed to do so without acknowledging that fact.

Re:Why is this news? (2, Insightful)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756450)

Agreed. So how about spending some money to keep our promises to take care of them AFTER their service is completed.

Why? They applied for a dangerous, dirty job and got paid for it. If you don't feel the existing pay and benefits are enough of an incentive to possibly be killed, DON'T JOIN THE MILITARY.

They should be treated like any other person who is permanently injured...apply for state and federal disability.

Re:Why is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34756506)

Can you provide examples of where the VA isn't being properly funded?

While I don't want to say too much, my dad is fairly senior in the VA and he said Bush first underfunded it. Then when it got out how they were underfunded everything got funded even if it shouldn't have. He said when Obama took office things went back to about where they should be.

I know his travel has been cut a bit, but typically they're using conference calls. He's actually excited as the VA has lagged for some time behind private practice (while he went to a fairly prestigious medical school, he gained most of his prestige just from taking things private practice had done to cut costs and applying them to the VA) while now they're starting to lead again by focusing on wellness and not reacting to illness which is ultimately cheaper and will provide better care.

Somewhere in my garage (2)

Virtucon (127420) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756102)

Somewhere in my Garage is an old Amana RadarRange from the 70s. I think the old leaky magnetron in it will sufficiently wipe out all RF spectrum for a 5 mile radius. I'll sell it to the government for only $1M Dollars! All you have to add is a burrito and a 120V power source and you're done!

Dead Birds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34756140)

So is it possible they were testing something like this system when all those birds died in Arkansas

Re:Dead Birds? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756762)

Um, no. Speaking as someone who used to do that kind of stuff, countermeasures are usually a lot more subtle than just pouring out huge amounts of RF.

How much will this add to our national debt? (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756146)

And do we really need it?

How about we concentrate on creating something like the Internet instead?

Re:How much will this add to our national debt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34756226)

According to my estimates, this will add.... 8.4 million dollars of debt.

And we already have an Internet.

Thanks for playing.

Re:How much will this add to our national debt? (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756356)

Yay! I feel much better now that our debt has increased and nothing significant has been accomplished.

Re:How much will this add to our national debt? (2)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756802)

You have to understand that this kind of research is going on all the time. I was doing it back in the eighties for different kinds of communications. (Same issues though -- capture, analyze, counter, when the signal is encrypted and transmitting on multiple frequencies.) There's really nothing to see here.

Re:How much will this add to our national debt? (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34757054)

Should have thought of that when they were building a supersonic VTOL stealth fighter, when they already had both transonic VTOL fighters and supersonic stealth fighters.

I guess you need both VTOL and stealth on your supersonic fighter jet for fighting some dudes hiding in caves.

Best Jamming System Already Exists (1)

CycleFreak (99646) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756704)

It's called Congress.

Triumph (1)

tha_toadman (1266560) | more than 3 years ago | (#34756830)

So DIS is what killed off all those birds and fish in Arkansas. I keed! I keed!

Simultainous signal injection? (1)

Paracelcus (151056) | more than 3 years ago | (#34757312)

An existing encrypted/unencrypted wireless datastream received & retransmitted/boosted with data intact with additional "errors" inserted (wireless steganography) decrypted by a matching hardware unit, the enemy would have to jam their own frequency(s) to interfere.

Comments?

Hmmmm, seems like this could be.. (1)

Paracelcus (151056) | more than 3 years ago | (#34757616)

Something quite Orwellian, think about it, when a Gov. goes rogue the first thing they want to control is the information stream!
Like in Burma & Iran, the world could see what was going on, with this tech. you could seal up and keep secret the violent repression
of the civilian population!

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