Tags: sniper | rifles | hacked | trackingpoint

Sniper Rifles Hacked: $13,000 TrackingPoint Vulnerable to Remote Shutdown

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By    |   Thursday, 30 Jul 2015 08:42 AM

A powerful sniper rifle equipped with Wi-Fi to help shooters fire more accurately can be hacked, forcing the weapon to misfire or shut down completely.

Runa Sandvik and Michael Auger, two security researchers, said that they discovered the vulnerability in the $13,000 TrackingPoint TP750 self-aiming rifle, which uses a computer targeting system connected to Wi-Fi to help hone in on its target, Fortune magazine reported.

"You can make it lie constantly to the user so they'll always miss their shot," Sandvik told Wired magazine. "If the scope is bricked [disabled], you have a six to seven thousand dollar computer you can't use on top of a rifle that you still have to aim yourself."

The married couple will present their research at the 2015 Black Hat hackers conference in Las Vegas next week, they said.

According to Wired, TrackingPoint has sold more than a thousand of its Linux- and Android-powered rifles since 2011. The rifle's high-tech scope allows the shooter to determine a target and factor in variables like wind, temperature, and the weight of the ammunition.

The rifle, using its computer, determines the moment to fire, activating its firing pin only when its barrel is perfectly oriented to hit the target, allowing people with limited skills to hit targets from a mile away.

Sandvik and Auger said they discovered a way to hack into TrackingPoint's software and take control of its self-aiming feature. The researchers said by gaining the gun's Wi-Fi default password, once it is turned on, they can begin to alter key variables in its targeting application.

Sandvik said a hacker could even lock out the rifle user or erase the weapon's entire file system.

TrackingPoint founder John McHale said that even though he appreciates Sandvik and Auger's research work, "The fundamentals of shooting don’t change even if the gun is hacked."

"The shooter's got to pull the rifle's trigger, and the shooter is responsible for making sure it's pointed in a safe direction. It's my responsibility to make sure my scope is pointed where my gun is pointing," McHale added.

McHale said that he will work with researchers to update the rifle's software to prevent current and future hacks.

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A powerful sniper rifle equipped with Wi-Fi to help shooters fire more accurately can be hacked, forcing the weapon to misfire or shut down completely.
sniper, rifles, hacked, trackingpoint
384
2015-42-30
Thursday, 30 Jul 2015 08:42 AM
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