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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Hacker Finds Cheap, Simple Methods To Bypass “Smart Gun” Security

The Armatix IP1 was advertised as the first commercially viable “smart gun,” a firearm that would reliably fire only when held by the owner. But a hacker who goes by the name “Plore” has recently shared some inexpensive ways to thwart the IP1’s vaunted technology.

As detailed in an article in Wired, Plore initially built a radio relay to extend the range of the RFID watch that unlocks the gun’s firing mechanism, allowing it to be fired if the watch is simply in the area (and not on the user’s hand). He also assembled a jamming device for $20 that reliably stopped the IP1 from firing. Finally, he devised a way to hold a stack of simple magnets near the barrel to override the gun’s security and make it fire without use of the RFID watch. “And that’s how I found out for $15 of materials you can defeat the security of this $1,500 smart gun,” Plore said.

The hacker says that he hopes to have demonstrated how inadequate the Armatix IP1’s security really is. “In this case, it was so easily defeated, in so many ways, that it really failed to live up to its side of the bargain … Misplaced trust is worse than no trust at all.”