02:55 PM
Connect Directly

Shock Bracelet Considered For Airline Passengers, Border Control

The Department of Homeland Security has solicited a proposal from a Canadian security company to develop a stun bracelet.

In order to enhance the security of air travel and to help manage illegal immigration, the Department of Homeland Security has solicited a proposal from a Canadian security company to develop a passenger stun bracelet.

Like the pain collars featured in the classic Star Trek episode The Gamesters of Triskelion, Lamperd Less Lethal's electro-muscular disruption (EMD) bracelet is intended to incapacitate wearers on remote command.

A video at the Lampred Less Lethal Web site explains that the bracelet will obviate the need for a plane ticket and will help make passengers and baggage trackable while traveling. It also explains that the bracelet will provide in-flight security.

"By further equipping the bracelet with EMD technology, the bracelets will allow crew members, using radio frequency transmitters, to quickly and effective subdue hijackers," the video explains. "The electro-muscular disruption signal overrides the attacker's central nervous system and will render even the most elite and aggressive terrorist completely immobile for several minutes."

As reported by The Washington Times, Lamperd's Web site hosts a copy of a letter from Paul S. Ruwaldt, an official with the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate, expressing interest in the bracelet.

Ruwaldt did not immediately respond to a request to verify the authenticity of the undated letter or to comment on the Department of Homeland Security's apparent interest in the Lamperd Less Lethal bracelet. The Transportation Security Agency also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"In discussions with my colleagues and immediate superior, we find your ideas have merit and believe it would be of great help on the borders, and indeed for anywhere else, for which the temporarily [sic] restraint of large numbers of individuals in open area environments by a small number of agents or Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs)," the letter says, citing a meeting on July 18, 2006. "We see the potential uses to include prisoner transportation, detainee control, and military security forces might have some interest. In addition, it is conceivable to envision a use to improve air security, on passenger planes."

The letter concludes by asking for a written proposal.

Barry Lamperd, president and CEO of Lamperd Less Lethal, said that his company had been contracted to manufacture the bracelet by its inventor, Per Hahne, who was currently seeking funding for the device.

A 2003 patent assigned to co-inventors Per Hahne and Ray Wark describes a similar concept, a belt designed to administer a disabling electric shock to air travelers.

The patent details "[a] method of providing air travel security for passengers traveling via an aircraft comprises situating a remotely activatable electric shock device on each of the passengers in position to deliver a disabling electrical shock when activated."

Reached on a cell phone in his car, Hahne said he came up with the idea after the 9/11 terrorist attack, an event also cited in the patent description. "I like to call it the next generation of Taser," he said, "theirs being a one-shot deal and mine being a multiple-shot deal."

Given the 9/11 scenario of airplane pilots grappling with attackers, Hahne said, "It was always my opinion that a pilot should not be engaged in armed combat while flying an aircraft."

Because there simply aren't enough air marshals to defend every flight, Hahne envisioned a way to empower air crews to better defend their planes. "My thought was to devise an instrument to allow every flight segment to be covered and to use the air crew as air marshals," he said.

Anticipating questions about passenger willingness to don a shock bracelet, Hahne was quick to defend the idea. "When people say they're not going to wear one, they need to be made aware that the bracelets are totally inert until the flight is airborne and the flight crew determines an attack is underway," he said.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
Who Does What in Cybersecurity at the C-Level
Steve Zurier, Freelance Writer,  3/16/2018
New 'Mac-A-Mal' Tool Automates Mac Malware Hunting & Analysis
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  3/14/2018
(ISC)2 Report: Glaring Disparity in Diversity for US Cybersecurity
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  3/15/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
How to Cope with the IT Security Skills Shortage
Most enterprises don't have all the in-house skills they need to meet the rising threat from online attackers. Here are some tips on ways to beat the shortage.
Flash Poll
[Strategic Security Report] Navigating the Threat Intelligence Maze
[Strategic Security Report] Navigating the Threat Intelligence Maze
Most enterprises are using threat intel services, but many are still figuring out how to use the data they're collecting. In this Dark Reading survey we give you a look at what they're doing today - and where they hope to go.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.