US Military's Smart Rifle Hacked, Wi-Fi Connection being the Culprit!

In a rather disconcerting revelation, two professional hackers have brought to the fore the flaws in the US military's ‘supposedly’ smart rifles. They were able to gain access to and hijack the guns, thereby changing their target or disabling the weapon completely.

Runa Sandvik and Michael Auger opened a can of worms for the US army, when they were able to hijack the guns and make changes that affected the weapon’s targeting ability. They plan to present their findings at the Black Hat hacker conference, due in two weeks.

The guns are made by the company, TrackingPoint. Since its inception in 2011, it has sold more than 1,000 of the high-end rifles. As per the company, the rifle’s scope allows users to choose a target and dial in variables including wind, temperature and weight of ammunition.

However, the lapse lies in the smart rifle's Wi-Fi connection. When the Wi-Fi is activated, the gun has a default password that allows anyone in the network to connect to it. Thereafter, the rifles can stream video to an iPad or computer, but this also leaves them vulnerable to the techniques developed by Sandvik and Auger.

Their tricks tamper with the rifle in a way that they interfere with the calculations of the rifle's targeting computer so accurately, that the hackers could hit a bulls-eye of their choice, without the shooter having a clue.

The US army is aware of the security flaws in the rifles and has gotten in touch with TrackingPoint, to work out some technique to fix the vulnerability in the rifles.