Vulnerabilities in Weapons Systems

“If you think any of these systems are going to work as expected in wartime, you’re fooling yourself.”

That was Bruce’s response at a conference hosted by US Transportation Command in 2017, after learning that their computerized logistical systems were mostly unclassified and on the Internet. That may be necessary to keep in touch with civilian companies like FedEx in peacetime or when fighting terrorists or insurgents. But in a new era facing off with China or Russia, it is dangerously complacent.

Any twenty-first century war will include cyber operations. Weapons and support systems will be successfully attacked. Rifles and pistols won’t work properly. Drones will be hijacked midair. Boats won’t sail, or will be misdirected. Hospitals won’t function. Equipment and supplies will arrive late or not at all.

Our military systems are vulnerable. We need to face that reality by halting the purchase of insecure weapons and support systems and by incorporating the realities of offensive cyberattacks into our military planning.

Over the past decade, militaries have established cyber commands and developed cyberwar doctrine. However, much of the current discussion is about offense. Increasing our offensive capabilities without being able to secure them is like having all the best guns in the world, and then storing them in an unlocked, unguarded armory. They just won’t be stolen; they’ll be subverted.

During that same period, we’ve seen increasingly brazen cyberattacks by everyone from criminals to governments. Everything is now a computer, and those computers are vulnerable. Cars, medical devices, power plants, and fuel pipelines have all been targets. Military computers, whether they’re embedded inside weapons systems or on desktops managing the logistics of those weapons systems, are similarly vulnerable. We could see effects as stodgy as making a tank impossible to start up, or sophisticated as retargeting a missile midair.

Military software is unlikely to be any more secure than commercial software. Although sensitive military systems rely on domestically manufactured chips as part of the Trusted Foundry program, many military systems contain the same foreign chips and code that commercial systems do: just like everyone around the world uses the same mobile phones, networking equipment, and computer operating systems. For example, there has been serious concern over Chinese-made 5G networking equipment that might be used by China to install “backdoors” that would allow the equipment to be controlled. This is just one of many risks to our normal civilian computer supply chains. And since military software is vulnerable to the same cyberattacks as commercial software, military supply chains have many of the same risks.

This is not speculative. A 2018 GAO report expressed concern regarding the lack of secure and patchable US weapons systems. The report observed that “in operational testing, the [Department of Defense] routinely found mission-critical cyber vulnerabilities in systems that were under development, yet program officials GAO met with believed their systems were secure and discounted some test results as unrealistic.” It’s a similar attitude to corporate executives who believe that they can’t be hacked — and equally naive.

An updated GAO report from earlier this year found some improvements, but the basic problem remained: “DOD is still learning how to contract for cybersecurity in weapon systems, and selected programs we reviewed have struggled to incorporate systems’ cybersecurity requirements into contracts.” While DOD now appears aware of the issue of lack of cybersecurity requirements, they’re still not sure yet how to fix it, and in three of the five cases GAO reviewed, DOD simply chose to not include the requirements at all.

Militaries around the world are now exploiting these vulnerabilities in weapons systems to carry out operations. When Israel in 2007 bombed a Syrian nuclear reactor, the raid was preceded by what is believed to have been a cyber attack on Syrian air defenses that resulted in radar screens showing no threat as bombers zoomed overhead. In 2018, a 29-country NATO exercise, Trident Juncture, that included cyberweapons was disrupted by Russian GPS jamming. NATO does try to test cyberweapons outside such exercises, but has limited scope in doing so. In May, Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary-general, said that “NATO computer systems are facing almost daily cyberattacks.”

The war of the future will not only be about explosions, but will also be about disabling the systems that make armies run. It’s not (solely) that bases will get blown up; it’s that some bases will lose power, data, and communications. It’s not that self-driving trucks will suddenly go mad and begin rolling over friendly soldiers; it’s that they’ll casually roll off roads or into water where they sit, rusting, and in need of repair. It’s not that targeting systems on guns will be retargeted to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue; it’s that many of them could simply turn off and not turn back on again.

So, how do we prepare for this next war? First, militaries need to introduce a little anarchy into their planning. Let’s have wargames where essential systems malfunction or are subverted­not all of the time, but randomly. To help combat siloed military thinking, include some civilians as well. Allow their ideas into the room when predicting potential enemy action. And militaries need to have well-developed backup plans, for when systems are subverted. In Joe Haldeman’s 1975 science-fiction novel The Forever War, he postulated a “stasis field” that forced his space marines to rely on nothing more than Roman military technologies, like javelins. We should be thinking in the same direction.

NATO isn’t yet allowing civilians not employed by NATO or associated military contractors access to their training cyber ranges where vulnerabilities could be discovered and remediated before battlefield deployment. Last year, one of us (Tarah) was listening to a NATO briefing after the end of the 2020 Cyber Coalition exercises, and asked how she and other information security researchers could volunteer to test cyber ranges used to train its cyber incident response force. She was told that including civilians would be a “welcome thought experiment in the tabletop exercises,” but including them in reality wasn’t considered. There is a rich opportunity for improvement here, providing transparency into where improvements could be made.

Second, it’s time to take cybersecurity seriously in military procurement, from weapons systems to logistics and communications contracts. In the three year span from the original 2018 GAO report to this year’s report, cybersecurity audit compliance went from 0% to 40% (those 2 of 5 programs mentioned earlier). We need to get much better. DOD requires that its contractors and suppliers follow the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification process; it should abide by the same standards. Making those standards both more rigorous and mandatory would be an obvious second step.

Gone are the days when we can pretend that our technologies will work in the face of a military cyberattack. Securing our systems will make everything we buy more expensive — maybe a lot more expensive. But the alternative is no longer viable.

The future of war is cyberwar. If your weapons and systems aren’t secure, don’t even bother bringing them onto the battlefield.

This essay was written with Tarah Wheeler, and previously appeared in Brookings TechStream.

Posted on June 8, 2021 at 5:32 AM29 Comments

Comments

FredSaid June 8, 2021 6:32 AM

The Next Generation Squad Weapons program, currently underway, calls for a fire control system which is basically a computerized scope that performs all ballistic calculations for making accurate shots. These systems undoubtedly will have wireless connections to communications systems, and will therefore be hackable. This could cause a shot which the soldier aims at the enemy to hit somewhere else. Is there any emphasis in this system on cybersecurity? No.

BTW, this is always lacking in SciFi weapons: advanced targeting. Shots taken with these supposedly advanced weapons are far less accurate than a lever-action rifle from the old West.

Clive Robinson June 8, 2021 7:32 AM

@ Bruce,

“Our military systems are vulnerable. We need to face that reality by halting the purchase of insecure weapons and support systems and by incorporating the realities of offensive cyberattacks into our military planning.”

That is kind of missing the point of these weapons,

A pile of scrap iron + a small pile of sand is what they realy are maybe ten bucks worth.

Now supply a little heat and other work and you have a few hundred dollars of equipment.

Now add an intangible called software and it’s worth tens or hundredsds of thousands of dollars or a lot lot more.

Weapons especially “smart weapons” are mostly worthless scrap sold off cheap after twenty years. Thus they make a realy great “financial vehicle” to turn “tax dollars” into “Private Equity”.

As a more important effect they are also a way to get the “petro-dollars” out of foreign economies back into the home economy, or into politicians political funds / pockets at the least.

Stopping such a process because the product might not work is very very very unlikely to happen.

The US policy for over a life time has been only to fight wars where they have an overwhelming advantage hence the “Bomb them back to the stone ages”. Super power conflict gets fought out by proxie wars in second and third world countries.

What upset the apple cart was “asymeyric warefare” on the homeland. I know it’s going to get a screaming response from some, but 9/11 was realy a non-event as far as warfare is concerned a few buildings destroyed and 3k casualties is not exactly big numbers in war.

However it made a point that I keep repeating,

The US was attacked by it’s own technology, technology on which it has become overly dependent

The response, was an excuse for an even bigger “Equity Transfer”, more weapons and worthless high tech.

The US has now through the stupidity of neo-con mantras become so fragile that it can be brought down by squirrels and in 9/11 by 10 dollars of box cutters and a few plane tickets, and now by microbes.

Any one remember Obama’s “Big Red Button” to turn the Internet off, well the US is so critically dependent on the Internet that turning it off would be the equivalent of “swallowing a bullet”.

But then all of this has been said endlessly over and over.

The US needs a critical rethink about not technology or even politics, but about it’s fundemental beliefes that drive it’s way of life that makes US society so dependent on just about every form of infrastructure that has been made so fragile that the fear of a breeze gets power turned of in California. Loss of a little power in Texas cascades as a chain reaction stops energy being generated due to lack of fuel and rampant profiteering stirs the noxious brew to even greater hights of failure.

It all comes down to the neo-con matras and behaviour, resilience is non existant thus fragility is rampant and yet people refuse to see the problem. Instead they just make it worse by thibking there is a technology fix…

A word to the wise,

Whilst technology can make things more robust, it can also make things fragile beyond recovery a whole lot less expensively and a whole lot faster.

But who cares if you can skim profits off shore and hop on an aircraft south when things go wrong, and be “to big to fail” so everyone else picks up the bill…

Colonial Pipeline is just the latest example of this deranged thinking, start expecting them to happen every few weeks untill people wise up.

Stuart Ward June 8, 2021 7:49 AM

There is also the issue that many of these civilian systems may be serving both sides in such a war. For example it is important that global financial systems are operational and work for both sides and are independent of the military action.

If the generals start telling their respective banks not to interoperate that could escalate things much more quickly.

JonKnowsNothing June 8, 2021 8:48 AM

@Clive @All

Aside from the inherent faults in these systems and their vulnerabilities both overt and covert, the Human Factor is a big black blob.

A good portion of these systems are created by Government Contracts to Approved and Vetted Corporations. Using the Neo-Con methods of management, like many other Silicon Valley Corporations, they hire sub-sub-sub contractors to do the work.

A small green stream pours down hill.

At the bottom of the hill is a puddle of Approved Persons, mostly those who have a Security Clearance of one kind or another. These folks are interchangeable cogs in the government pipeline but they are also the ones that create the programs and write the software. They get a 6 month contract and then POOF!

There are large Corporations that specialize in providing these types of contractors and if you Get On The List, you can make a very nice pile of jack, working 6 months at a time in BFE USA (1). Due to the No-Extensions Clause on the contracts, added to prevent contractors from becoming employees, the contractor simply rotates to another project.

What’s left is No System Integrity, No Continuity, No Testing (no one really knows what to test) and a pile of millions of lines of spaghetti code. As probably a good number of folks have been handed civilian code systems for maintenance, upgrade or revamp and had to deal with Lazy Programming and no Documentation or Design Docs. Even where those exist they are so out of date as to hard be worth screen reading time. The risk is fairly minimal: Something borks in Accounting.

When something borks in Weapon Systems the outcome is far more dangerous.

It might not be any better if these folks were employees but it certainly doesn’t help much that they are not. The top dog companies what work the system really have no interest at all in the product they are supposed to provide.

Which is why I find it rather amusing that M.Bezos is planning on catching a ride into The Far Far Away. What could possibly go wrong… Better have an extra O-Ring in your pocket M. Bezos.

===

ht tps://arstechnica.com/science/2021/06/jeff-bezos-says-he-will-fly-into-space-next-month/

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has revealed on Instagram that he plans to fly on Blue Origin’s first human spaceflight next month.

“I want to go on this flight because it’s a thing I’ve wanted to do all my life,” Bezos, the richest person in the world, said in a post published Monday morning. “It’s an adventure. It’s a big deal for me.”

ht tps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Challenger_disaster#Richard_Feynman

Richard Feynman

One of the commission’s members was theoretical physicist Richard Feynman. Feynman, who was then seriously ill with cancer, was reluctant to undertake the job. He did so at the encouragement of his wife, Gweneth Howarth. She convinced him to go, saying he might discover something others overlooked. He also wanted to find the root cause of the disaster and to speak plainly to the public about his findings.[70] At the start of investigation, fellow members Dr. Sally Ride and General Donald J. Kutyna told Feynman that the O-rings had not been tested at temperatures below 50 °F (10 °C).[71] During a televised hearing, Feynman demonstrated how the O-rings became less resilient and subject to seal failures at ice-cold temperatures by immersing a sample of the material in a glass of ice water. While other members of the Commission met with NASA and supplier top management, Feynman sought out the engineers and technicians for the answers.[72] (McDonald and his fellow Thiokol engineers had been so concerned about the danger presented by the low-temperature that McDonald refused to sign off on the launch; his supervisor signed off in his place.[73]) Feynman was critical of flaws in NASA’s “safety culture”, so much so that he threatened to remove his name from the report unless it included his personal observations on the reliability of the shuttle, which appeared as Appendix F.[72][74] In the appendix, he argued that the estimates of reliability offered by NASA management were wildly unrealistic, differing as much as a thousandfold from the estimates of working engineers. “For a successful technology,” he concluded, “reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.”[75]

1, BFE Abbreviation for Bum FxxK Egypt. Out in the fxxking middle of nowhere.

(url fractured to prevent autorun)

Chelloveck June 8, 2021 10:14 AM

@JonKnowsNothing, I often see you post “(url fractured to prevent autorun)”. What sort of behavior are you trying to prevent? I’m unfamiliar with the term in this context.

JonKnowsNothing June 8, 2021 10:59 AM

@Chelloveck

re: breaking URLs

There are a lot of things that happen under the covers of HTML and web pages. Some of them include pre-fetch or source parsing and MITM scanning (Ad Scanners if you are lucky, LEOs if you are not).

There are all sorts of scanners and harvesters on the transport layer between what you see, where it goes and what boomerang backs to you. Some of these will be hunting for URLs too.

There are also loads of issues with URLs themselves. They are easy to spoof and without very careful inspection can cause big problems. We are trained to Click but we are not trained to Look Before You Click.

To minimize the above I insert a space in the URL.

You can clearly see where the link will go and you can decide for yourself if you want to follow the link. Some folks use HXXP for the same purpose but afaik this is consider a link by many on the backend (google) just as if it were HTTP. Putting a space in doesn’t provide any guarantee that google doesn’t run a regex to close it up automagically on their backend either. (1)

What it does it gives you the ability to decide: Do I want to go there?

Sometimes going there can be dangerous to your future:

  • Soldiers, tanks, people, shopping bags, painted lanes and sidewalks.

===

1, RSSFeeders aren’t safe either. Even if the bot is collecting the new posts for you. The site owner can install an RSSFeedReaderCollector to pull up the same information as if you clicked on the link yourself. You won’t even know you have been harvested.

Weather June 8, 2021 11:44 AM

@chelovok

A href=”google.com?JavaScript (‘alert(“xss”)’);”,google.com

Caramba June 8, 2021 1:27 PM

Going out on a limb here to suggest that we all agree that it’s time to move past this idea that it’s necessary to kill other human beings to further whatever agenda.

I know this idea has been catching on for some time but I certainly wish it would get more traction.

Security Sam June 8, 2021 7:33 PM

Both our safety and security
With a true sense of identity
Can all coexist in humanity
Via trust respect and integrity.

froggieshampoo June 8, 2021 9:47 PM

How about putting some mdma (xtc) in the food of both sides so people will make love and not war….?

echo June 9, 2021 12:54 AM

I dislike this war hungry essay for a lot of reasons. Publishing it reeks of “Atlantic Council” nod along. I find the focus and basic premise of the essay problematic for a lot of reasons. I’m not wholly convinced an authortarian mindset plus an Ayan Randian mindset is a step forward. There’s nothing special about NATO as a system. The author of the article is missing organisational “system crashes”, the human rights and social dimension, and low level resistance. All systems are attacked all the time. There is nothing new there.

The $50-250 Billion spending boost in the US to “counter China” is nothing of the sort. It’s just the US trying to dominate everybody again. Military spending which is restricted to US companies only is a nice way to get around laws against playing favourites with subsidies.

The US played dirty (i.e. lied) over TSR-2 and much more besides. TTIP is still fresh in my mind.

The Chinese have a problem applying Drucker and Oglvy and Parkinson too. (Classics worth reading today.) The order has gone out from the top that there are to be no restrictions on which hotels foreigners can stay in. However, lack of IT and onerous paperwork and police requirements put off smaller more provincial hotels. It’s not a huge problem to design a better and cheaper system. No dirty tricks required. No dodgy intelligence operatives required. Simply turn up and be nice and don’t be an idiot. If a few evangelicals or hard nosed shysters try it on and are slapped in jail that’s no problem. They do more damage than good in the UK too. In fact the American “Chicago School” has done more damage to the UK than China ever did. If the Chinese locked a few up they would be doing the rest of a us a favour. The point being there is only so much you can get from movies and television and newspapers. That is a manufactured or vicarious reality and too often has an agenda. You cannot beat real people meeting real people. The less fear and greed in the way the better too. Who knows after a few years they may decide they no longer need those onerous systems. It’s one step. There will be others.

Who is the “enemy”? Why do they have to be the “enemy”? I have strong issues with Russia’s human rights abuses and criminality and China’s authoritarianism and rip off mentality but America is not clean either. the first thought too often when an American opens their mouth now is “What are they trying to pull?” Think about that.

Petre Peter June 9, 2021 6:48 AM

The future of war is forever war with cyber weapons and cyber soldiers.

Winter June 9, 2021 7:04 AM

@echo
“You cannot beat real people meeting real people.”

People are nice everywhere. Whether it is Iranians, who are civilized and welcoming (and love America) , or friendly Chinese, Russians, or Malawians. Be kind wherever you go and you will encounter kind people almost everywhere.

lurker June 9, 2021 1:30 PM

@Caramba:

it’s time to move past this idea that it’s necessary to kill other human beings to further whatever agenda.

@Winter:

Be kind wherever you go and you will encounter kind people almost everywhere.

There’s a little problem of the human genome throwing up random individuals with an agressive-dominant trait whose neural circuits accept violence and war as acceptable means of problem solving. That same genome also produces a lot more less random individuals who are willing to follow any leader, even a warmonger.

The problem might be solved by genetic engineering…

Winter June 9, 2021 2:55 PM

@lurker
“The problem might be solved by genetic engineering…”

Experiences with eugenetics and the people who advocate it are uniformly bad, extremely bad.

JPA June 9, 2021 4:17 PM

I found the article to focus on how to make cyber war doable. What was not explored was the possibility of the US not using force as a go to response. The Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft is worth exploring on this matter.

ht tps://quincyinst.org

Robert June 9, 2021 5:40 PM

For me the most intriguing question is:
How many ZeroDays does each of the major powers have stored and ready for use?
How many of these ZD’s will be commonly shared? (presumably with each side having fixes at the ready)
How fast can we “manufacture” new ZD’s?
Will anyone still install patches if it is expected that they contain brand new (made to order) ZD’s?

So what happens when we try to decouple Commerce from the Internet? 20 years ago nothing would have been the answer, however today, in many countries the only way to get certain parts is to order them over off the internet. The specialty businesses which stocked parts for electronics hobbyists are long gone, the phone order systems are unavailable, even the possibility to drive there and pickup the part yourself, is but a memory of a bygone time.

So wtf happens when TSHTF?
What happens here in America?
What happens in China? (How many US systems find out that they rely on one or more critical Chinese components?)
It will be Fubar total Fubar.

Mr. Peed Off June 9, 2021 7:43 PM

There is much to be said for “analog fire control computers”. No internet, gps, or satellites required.
““At one time, my office was asked to do a study regarding upgrading the Iowa-class battleship fire control systems from analog to digital computers,” Boslaugh replied. “We found that digitizing the computer would improve neither the reliability nor the accuracy of the system and recommended, ‘Don’t bother.’” Even without digital computers, the Iowa could fire 2,700-pound “dumb” shells nearly 30 miles inland with deadly accuracy, within a circle of probable error of around 80 meters. Some of its shells had circles of destruction larger than that.”

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2020/05/gears-of-war-when-mechanical-analog-computers-ruled-the-waves/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_I_Fire_Control_Computer

AFAG June 11, 2021 2:31 PM

“A five-precinct area in New York City has cut its crime rate by 49 per cent.”
General Electric research

They have plans for night golf with better lighting. Expand your hours of operation. Go slower.

Ollie Jones June 14, 2021 6:55 PM

So-called “chaos monkey” testing is gaining traction in various data services (for example Netflix). Chaos monkeys are automated systems guided by white-hat people who go around corrupting various parts of pre-production and production systems to measure, and to force the improvement of, systemwide resilience.

Electric grids, pipelines, emergency dispatch systems, hospitals, and other critical services simply must ask themselves the future-perfect question: “what will our systems look like when we can unleash chaos monkeys on our IT?”

Then we must build systems like that.

Nothing, but nothing, is too important to test.

Clive Robinson June 14, 2021 10:39 PM

@ Ollie Jones,

So-called “chaos monkey” testing is gaining traction in various data services

I do wish they would not give such silly names to well established engineering practices just because they have “re-invented the curved triangular wheel”[1].

Not only is it puerial, it actually is counter productive.

It’s kind of an accepted fact that managment don’t do technical, thus throw words like “chaos” and “monkey” around and it’s likely to get their short hairs rising as they apply a more normal interpretation to the words in their head. And so envisage “monkey wrench” wielding primates having a “chimps tea party” at their expense…

But if you look at the design of electronic systems involving “control loops” you will see the likes of Gausian White Noise sources being used to test and characterise systems and a whole bunch of linear and nonlinear maths to support the process.

[1] Yes you can by taking a triangle and rounding it’s sides outwards make a shape that has “uniform diameter” when rotated via an appropriately off set pivot. Why you would want to use one other than as a curiosity kind of applies to much involved with software testing as well…

Wesley Parish June 15, 2021 6:48 AM

Not much new to see here. IIRC, this was one of the best arguments brought against SDI aka Star Wars. It would have to be connected, and connections could not be guaranteed to be perfectly secure. Plus maintenance would’ve been a bitch, and maintenance is one of the manholes through which an enemy can sneak.

I’m expecting the day the Pentagon invests in “Rods From God” kinetic tungsten rod bombardment systems, that interested parties will hack into the targeting system and ensure that for every potential target there’s another closer to home. Nothing like bringing the work home, you see …

InternetIndividual June 16, 2021 2:36 AM

The JEDI or Connect everything network warfare and “AI” represent a serious potential flaw in the US military mindset. Most people don’t understand what AI actually is and its limitations. Its a relatively new area, so the programming has the potential to be less than stellar, combine that AI with the IoT of military networked warefare and I see a disaster waiting to happen. Every single “thing” that is meant to be connected to the “network” potentially thousands of different devices. Who is going to make sure every device has no vulnerabilities? Do they realize all it takes is one of those devices to have a vulnerability for an adversary to compromise the entire network?

Do these decision makers even know what an AI can and cant do at the current technological state? The AI learns from ingesting millions of iterations of whatever task its being programmed for from known datasets. AI is not good at adapting to new never before seen strategies, tactics, units, or weapon systems on the fly. This is what war is, using the latest and greatest tech which is unknown to adversaries, with new strategies and suprise tactics. All of these things AI is horrible at. again AI is only good at things that are known. Not unknown. Thats not even taking into consideration exploiting vulnerabilities which are unknown. Exploit a vulnerability in a AI connected device and turn it against themselves.

How are you going to remediate and patch a compromised AI system or network in the middle of a conflict?

Take a look at our most heavily guarded networks. They get hacked just like everything else. Is this new IoT network going to be any more secure? with millions of devices authenticating and deauthenticating in combat in real time without delay?

What about if a soldier dies and has a bunch of connected devices on his person still authenticated. And an enemy soldier is able to recover those devices. Game over?

This is a disaster waiting to happen. I have several bridges for sale that are quantum crypto blockchain stealth attack systems. Just send 1M Dogecoin to my wallet.

No doubt many of these technologies are cool, promising, and fun to work with. Its obvious to me some of us still havent grasped the inherent pitfalls of pushing unknown computer tech into war especially at scale in a network. Imagine having the JEDI network cloud servers process some input that wasnt intended or the datacenters get hacked and ransomwared. All the systems fail spectacularly at once. We need to slow down trying to push this whole “Skynet” type AI automated cybernetic weaponsystem.

My prediction is the first major country to try and roll out a fullscale networked AI military is going to be the loser. One small error, vulnerability, bug, anomoly, and your all done. How would an AI network handle an exploit attempt? If the attack is something new that it has never seen before and therefor likely wont know what to do with it. BSOD.

JonKnowsNothing June 16, 2021 6:17 AM

@InternetIndividual @All

re: IoT Soldiers on the Field of Battle

Among the many other issues presented, one might presume that “live heartbeat” will be required for the I(di)OT systems to work. If so, a no-heart beat will disable the device(s).

This of course is full of secondary problems like booby-trapped devices that explode on demand or like IEDs on activation.

Then there is the problem of downed-personnel, who are not supposed to be left behind but every battlefield has both the living, dead, near dead, dying and unidentified parts. Which ones get deactivated during battle is going to be problematic especially if devices are booby trapped to either explode or provide false data. No more grabbing the next guy’s gear when your own has taken a load of shrapnel and stopped functioning. No more grabbing extra ammo, guns or removing them from the no-longer-with-us group.

Given the Military propensity for things like colliding helicopters, friendly fire situations, over energetic training and live fire exercises facing the wrong way, it is easily to extrapolate the magnitude to the error.

One good blast of EMP on the battlefield might do the trick. Even the MATRIX knows that works both ways…

intind44 June 16, 2021 9:50 AM

How do all these devices plan to communicate? 5g? 4g? Sattelite? An enemy adversary could theoreticaly set up evil twins or rogue microwave towers. I cant imagine it would be too hard at the very least to jam or degradate the signal in certain places. 5g has a range of what 1 or 2 blocks if your lucky?

With that being said, this whole scheme would have some utitlity in 3rd world country combat zones like Afgahn or Yemen. But as soon as you have a legit adversary, I could see how it might be very hard to dominate the OE with freindly EMR. I would be worried about the enemy hijacking or commadeering units. Or worse yet, having our AI forces turned against us.

Ahhh thats what all those internet satellites or for.

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