This Is Why Strapping a Wi-Fi Connection to a Sniper Rifle Is a Bad Idea

We have come to a point where we embed a lot of technology to weapons, sometimes even too much technology. This is the case of TrackingPoint, a company that makes such smart weapons. One sniper rifle the company produces is so advanced that it would make anyone a pro-marksman when fired. But, as expected for something this advanced, the gun can be hacked.

A group of hackers found a way to hack the sniper rifle via Wi-Fi. Yes, the gun actually has a Wi-Fi antenna that lets you connect and stream its view to other devices. However, the Wi-Fi is off by default. Turning it on, the hackers proved that adjusting some variables can alter the target, so you might be aiming for something, but eventually hitting an entirely different target in the end.

The hack is also very advanced in a way, being able to tap into the ‘root’ permissions of the gun. This means that a hacker can be granted full access to the gun and even lock the user out of it. However, one truly relieving thing is that the gun cannot be fired remotely, requiring manual trigger fire at all times. Hackers can still remove the safety mechanism, so this is still a bit worrying.

From the looks of it, hacking the gun proves to be a challenge. First of all, the Wi-Fi needs to be on, but since most people use sniper rifles in the wilderness and not in their back yard, the likeliness of it being on is next to zero. Even so, the hacker needs to be next to the gun, so as previously mentioned, hiding in a bush with a laptop is also not practical. It might sound next to impossible to hack it, but the hackers tell that malware can be installed on it, so an attacker can somehow hack it at some point and have it targeting or altering stuff at a certain time and place.

All this makes you wonder, doesn’t it? We previously mentioned about machine guns that can target and decide when to shoot and those most likely have Wi-Fi connectivity as well. Once we get to that point where autonomous guns and military machines become more popular, what would happen if someone were to ‘accidentally’ place a malware on one of their networks? Scary, isn’t it? What are your thoughts? Let us know!

Thank you WIRED for providing us with this information

Elite Xbox Controller Comes With Swappable Parts

The Xbox controller has become a recognised for gamers, no matter what console you used you could recognise the layout and design. E3 brings us lots of news about games and new projects, but today we also learnt about a new Xbox controller.

The new controller, pictured above, looks similar to the older controllers but has some very distinct differences. The first thing people may notice is that the D-Pad has been swapped out with a textured rolling pad. The second thing people may notice is the small silver slivers underneath the handle grips, these are four brand new buttons located where your little and tertiary finger rest on the controllers.

All the triggers have been switched out with hair triggers, meaning they’ll be more sensitive and quicker to react to your jumpy finger movements when you turn those last second corners. The biggest point about all of these new features is that they are interchangeable. With the ability to easily remove and customise your controller to a personal preference, you may find it difficult to switch back to your friends spare when you’re playing around theirs.

With no set launch date or price yet the controllers will no doubt be eagerly awaited by Xbox and PC users alike. I personally can’t wait to grab one for the PC and see how it compares to the classic Xbox and 360 controllers.

Counter Strike: Global Offensive’s Well-Known Bug Gets Acknowledged by Valve

If you are a Counter Strike: Global Offensive player, then you probably know about the bug. However, let’s outline it again for those of you who might not have experienced it, though it is highly unlikely if you have played the title by now.

In a shooter video game, there are two main coding aspects to take into account when firing a weapon at a character. First, the actual bullet/ray, or whatever you want to call it, is triggered once you fire the gun to check the direction and objects it hits in that direction.

The second most important aspect is once a character is hit by the bullet, it needs to find out what part of the body is hit to appropriately reflect the player’s damage/health.

This is where things go nasty in CS:GO. The hitbox that needs to determine what body is hit is actually a bit quirky, leading to a lot of moments where you want to smash your keyboard because you now you shot him in the head, but he acts like you barely grazed him.

After a couple of videos that clearly emphasise the issue went hot on Reddit, Valve finally acknowledged the bug that has been present in the title since it first launched. However, they were unable to provide an ‘eta’ on the fix. The videos can be viewed below. So how long do you think it will take Valve to solve it?

Thank you Kotaku for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of enemyesports.com and videos courtesy of Reddit

IBM and DARPA Working On Self-Destructing Chips

Self-destructing devices have only been seen in spy movies. But it is bound to become a reality now, since reports point to a partnership between IBM and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA for short, to develop self-destructing chips.

Now don’t think that the chips will go up with a big bang as you have seen in previous movies. It is said that last year, DARPA has announced its intentions to build similar devices. The plan intended the development of a chip that will degrade partially or completely into its surroundings when triggered.

IBM has heard of DARPA’s idea and joined in, bringing a $3,45 million contract to start on the project. It is known under the name of Vanishing Programmable Resources (VAPR) and is said to develop a new class of electronics.

DARPA program manager, Alicia Jackson, stated that while commercial chips made for everyday use last nearly forever (in theory), they are going to make something slightly different, and make something that would last precisely as long as they are needed.

IBM is looking into putting all resources and make something that would render a silicone chip into unrecognisable dust, while DARPA is thinking that a trigger element, such as a reactive metal layer or fuse, could be the key to finding the solution.

DARPA is looking to use the process in its gadgets, which could effectively destroy them if lost or recovered by an opposing party, so as not to divulge the technology. Basically as you see in spy movies, where the agencies have all the high-tech that self-destruct if they are to fall into the wrong hands.

Thank you Tech Spot for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Tech Spot

CM Storm Unveil Trigger Z Mechanical Keyboard

We’re a little late on this news story, it was actually revealed last week! Be I figured that if we missed it, you might have missed it too. Following on from the popular Trigger mechanical keyboard from CM Storm, the gaming brand of Cooler Master, the Trigger Z looks set to tweak and improve on an already epic formulate to bring the range up to date for 2014.

The keyboard will features full programmable mechanical keys, that means you can utilize macro and standard keys with profile management for up to five profiles and up to 75 macros. 128KB on board memory will ensure you can save every profile, macro and setting on the keyboard, something that will no doubt go down well with the LAN gaming crowd since you can’t use 3rd party software while competing. Integrated multimedia keys for audio are included, while Windows lock will also benefit gamers by avoiding accidental tabs to the desktop.

A large detachable wrist rest with a non-slip rubber coating will help with comfort so you can take it easy, while 64 Key Roll Over will ensure that when you’re not going to miss a beat when the going gets tough. full LD backlighting with three modes and five brightness levels will also help you play through the night, always able to find the right key, even in the dark.

A popular choice of Cherry MX switches will be available soon, the keyboard will launch with Brown, but Red and Blue will be added (region dependant). The MSRP is to be £109.99 inc. VAT here in the UK, but check out your local and online retailers for availability and exact pricing.

Thank you CM for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of CM.

Cooler Master Show Off Keyboards At Insomnia i49

Cooler Master Show Off Keyboards At Insomnia i49


Insomnia i49: Cooler Master are back in Telford for i49 and are teamed up with CyberPower UK to show off the latest in their line-up of headsets, keyboards, mice notebook coolers and chassis plus more.

One of the newest additions to the peripheral line-up is the Mech keyboard – being shown off in the UK for the first time. The Mech has a aluminium and steel reinforced build with professional cherry MX switches under the keys as well as 5 macro profiles offering up to a total of 75 macro combinations. The special feature of this board is its customisable capability. Cooler Master designed this board with the modder in mind, hoping that they will come up with a plethora of different designs and flavours to awe at.

Alongside the Mech, the ever popular Quick Fire Pro and TK keyboards are on display in a pair of colours and a variety of switch types – the blue switch so popular that Cooler Master’s event partner CCL ran out of stock on the first day of the exhibition!

[youtube]http://youtu.be/KHlVd3dMNPo[/youtube]

Cooler Masters Trigger keyboard is regarded to have a great, strong build and to prove this, the team have a video on show demonstrating how Cooler Master put this to the test by running it over with a series of vehicles and testing it straight after.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNrHJ9h7IIU[/youtube]

Stay tuned as we have more coverage for you from Cooler Master and the rest of i49 here in Telford. Be sure to check out the live gallery where you can get a quick glimpse of the action as we see it here: http://www.eteknix.com/insomnia-i49-summer-2013-live-gallery/