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Images: Wired

Short Bytes : Security researchers have found a way to hack the Tracking Point sniper rifles. These “smart” snipers run on Linux and has WiFi connectivity. Exploiting the vulnerabilities in software via WiFi, a hacker can prevent the gun from firing and can change its target.

You’ve got a computer, a wireless connection, and a sniper rifle. What do you do? Obviously, you’ll combine these and use your genius brain to create a “Smart” Sniper Rifle. Right? Well, I don’t know if you’d like to call yourself smart when your smart sniper rifle gets hacked, and the hacker isn’t your best friend.

Yes, hackers can now hack the Tracking Point sniper rifle, which runs on Linux and has WiFi connections. The hackers can remotely disable the rifle and change its target. At the upcoming Black Hat hacker conference, security researchers Runa Sandvik and her husband Michael Auger have found a way to hack the Tracking Point TP750 rifle. They will be demonstrating how to disable the gun, or control the bullet trajectory. This is equally terrifying as the drone gun, that shot real bullets like a pro.

Also read: Warning: You Can’t Shoot A Drone Until It Shoots You First

At the conference, they’ll present the results of their one-year hard work to hack a couple of Tracking Point self-aiming sniper rifles. This killer smart weapon costs $13,000 and this researcher couple has found a way to compromise its software vulnerabilities using WiFi. They can change the variables to stop the gun from firing, make it miss its target, and change its target to kill someone who isn’t the target.

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In a demo video for Wired, they were able to change the target and hit a bullseye of hacker’s chosen target. In this smart rifle hack, firstly they exploit WiFi, which is by default off. It is enabled to stream the video of your shot to a PC or tablet. So, when the WiFi is switched on, this smart (read dumb) sniper rifle has a default password that allows people in the WiFi range to connect to it. Now, hacker can use this gun as a server and get the APIs to change the variables governing the target.


This isn’t done. With the laptop, a hacker can add anyone as a “root” user and take the full control of the software. The firing pin, which is a computer controlled solenoid, can be disabled by the hacker to prevent this smart sniper rifle from firing.

“There are so many things with the Internet attached to them: cars, fridges, coffee machines, and now guns,” says Sandvik. “There’s a message here for TrackingPoint and other companies…when you put technology on items that haven’t had it before, you run into security challenges you haven’t thought about before.”

The company has said that it’s currently going through “restructuring” its smart rifle and is no longer shipping rifles.

Are these weapons like drone-gun and hackable snipers becoming a threat to humanity? Tell us your views in comments below.

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