The Army is developing a new electronic warfare pod capable of being put on drones and on trucks.
…the Silent Crow pod is now the leading contender for the flying flagship of the Army’s rebuilt electronic warfare force. Army EW was largely disbanded after the Cold War, except for short-range jammers to shut down remote-controlled roadside bombs. Now it’s being urgently rebuilt to counter Russia and China, whose high-tech forces—unlike Afghan guerrillas—rely heavily on radio and radar systems, whose transmissions US forces must be able to detect, analyze and disrupt.
It’s hard to tell what this thing can do. Possibly a lot, but it’s all still in prototype stage.
Historically, cyber operations occurred over landline networks and electronic warfare over radio-frequency (RF) airwaves. The rise of wireless networks has caused the two to blur. The military wants to move away from traditional high-powered jamming, which filled the frequencies the enemy used with blasts of static, to precisely targeted techniques, designed to subtly disrupt the enemy’s communications and radar networks without their realizing they’re being deceived. There are even reports that “RF-enabled cyber” can transmit computer viruses wirelessly into an enemy network, although Wojnar declined to confirm or deny such sensitive details.
The pod’s digital brain also uses machine-learning algorithms to analyze enemy signals it detects and compute effective countermeasures on the fly, instead of having to return to base and download new data to human analysts. (Insiders call this cognitive electronic warfare). Lockheed also offers larger artificial intelligences to assist post-mission analysis on the ground, Wojnar said. But while an AI small enough to fit inside the pod is necessarily less powerful, it can respond immediately in a way a traditional system never could.
EDITED TO ADD (5/14): Here are two reports on Russian electronic warfare capabilities.
Posted on May 13, 2020 at 8:49 AM •
Russia has banned the secure messaging app Telegram. It’s making an absolute mess of the ban—blocking 16 million IP addresses, many belonging to the Amazon and Google clouds—and it’s not even clear that it’s working. But, more importantly, I’m not convinced Telegram is secure in the first place.
Such a weird story. If you want secure messaging, use Signal. If you’re concerned that having Signal on your phone will itself arouse suspicion, use WhatsApp.
Posted on April 23, 2018 at 2:15 PM •
Here’s a physical attack against a credit card verification system. Basically, the attack disrupts the communications between the retail terminal and the system that identifies revoked credit cards. Since retailers generally default to accepting cards when the system doesn’t work, the attack is generally successful.
Posted on October 27, 2014 at 10:56 AM •
A device called Cyborg Unplugged can be configured to prevent any Wi-Fi connection:
Oliver notes on the product’s website that its so-called “All Out Mode”—which prevents surveillance devices from connecting to any Wi-Fi network in the area—is likely illegal, and he advises against its use. Nevertheless, we can imagine activists slipping these little devices into public areas and wreaking a bit of havoc.
Posted on September 9, 2014 at 2:07 PM •
noPhoto reacts to a camera flash, and then jams the image with a bright light.
The website makes the point that this is legal, but that can’t last.
Posted on October 22, 2012 at 7:18 AM •
This is cool:
The idea is simple. Psychologists have known for some years that it is almost impossible to speak when your words are replayed to you with a delay of a fraction of a second.
Kurihara and Tsukada have simply built a handheld device consisting of a microphone and a speaker that does just that: it records a person’s voice and replays it to them with a delay of about 0.2 seconds. The microphone and speaker are directional so the device can be aimed at a speaker from a distance, like a gun.
In tests, Kurihara and Tsukada say their speech jamming gun works well: “The system can disturb remote people’s speech without any physical discomfort.”
Posted on March 12, 2012 at 6:35 AM •
There’s a report that Iran hacked the drones’ GPS systems:
“The GPS navigation is the weakest point,” the Iranian engineer told the Monitor, giving the most detailed description yet published of Iran’s “electronic ambush” of the highly classified US drone. “By putting noise [jamming] on the communications, you force the bird into autopilot. This is where the bird loses its brain.”
The “spoofing” technique that the Iranians used—which took into account precise landing altitudes, as well as latitudinal and longitudinal data—made the drone “land on its own where we wanted it to, without having to crack the remote-control signals and communications” from the US control center, says the engineer.
The Aviationist has consistently had the best analysis of this, and here it talks about the Tehran Times report that Iran has four Israeli and three U.S. drones.
My original blog post.
Posted on December 16, 2011 at 12:01 PM •
Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.