Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

12/7/2008
01:20 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

Air Force Seeks (Non Lethal) City Stopper

While it won't destroy buildings, or directly kill people, it will shut down everything in its path with a power button.

While it won't destroy buildings, or directly kill people, it will shut down everything in its path with a power button.Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) bombs have been written about for quite some time, and are supposed to have been used in a number of conflicts in the past 15 years. These weapons are designed to shut down cities, as well as military communications and weapon systems, not physically destroy them.

Well, only the electrical parts.

The U.S. military already has EMP capabilities, but it looks like, based on this Air Force solicitation published in the past couple of days, that they're about to get more tactical:

Combatant commanders (COCOMS) have expressed desires for additional military options against the variety of electronic systems that are used in military, industrial, civil, and asymmetrical applications. To provide viable military options to the COCOMS, the Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy Directorate's High Power Microwave Division (AFRL/RDH) is seeking to develop and demonstrate the capability and operational utility of a high power microwave (HPM) aerial demonstrator.

The objective of this effort is to develop, test, and demonstrate a multishot and multitarget aerial HPM demonstrator that is capable of degrading, damaging, or destroying electronic systems. For this effort, the contractor shall develop a compact HPM payload for integration into an aerial platform. The contractor shall produce five aerial demonstrators. One aerial platform without the HPM source shall be developed for a flight test to demonstrate delivery, controlability, and fusing. The remaining four aerial platforms with the integrated HPM source shall be developed for flight testing, demonstration, and HPM effects tests.

Want to cause mayhem before an invasion, or perhaps get a bright-white surrender flag waving at you before the first physical bullet is fired? Unleashing one of these over a modern city has the potential to shut down TV and radio broadcasting and receiving, car starters, home and office electronic circuitry, network routers, computers, embedded circuitry.

Want to use your cell phone? Forget it. Need an ATM? No cash for you. Dependent on a life-support system? You have a problem.

Sounds like the perfect weapon to use against any modern society. The more dependent that society is on electronics, the better.

Perhaps that's why a number of U.S. commanders believe Iran is working on a similar weapon to be used against the West.

I've got to run to Home Depot now, see if they carry gas-powered generators and have the materials to build one of these around my home.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Why Cyber-Risk Is a C-Suite Issue
Marc Wilczek, Digital Strategist & CIO Advisor,  11/12/2019
Unreasonable Security Best Practices vs. Good Risk Management
Jack Freund, Director, Risk Science at RiskLens,  11/13/2019
Breaches Are Inevitable, So Embrace the Chaos
Ariel Zeitlin, Chief Technology Officer & Co-Founder, Guardicore,  11/13/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-16761
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-15
A specially crafted Bitcoin script can cause a discrepancy between the specified SLP consensus rules and the validation result of the [email protected] npm package. An attacker could create a specially crafted Bitcoin script in order to cause a hard-fork from the SLP consensus. All versions >1.0...
CVE-2019-16762
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-15
A specially crafted Bitcoin script can cause a discrepancy between the specified SLP consensus rules and the validation result of the slpjs npm package. An attacker could create a specially crafted Bitcoin script in order to cause a hard-fork from the SLP consensus. Affected users can upgrade to any...
CVE-2019-13581
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-15
An issue was discovered in Marvell 88W8688 Wi-Fi firmware before version p52, as used on Tesla Model S/X vehicles manufactured before March 2018, via the Parrot Faurecia Automotive FC6050W module. A heap-based buffer overflow allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service or execute arbitrary ...
CVE-2019-13582
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-15
An issue was discovered in Marvell 88W8688 Wi-Fi firmware before version p52, as used on Tesla Model S/X vehicles manufactured before March 2018, via the Parrot Faurecia Automotive FC6050W module. A stack overflow could lead to denial of service or arbitrary code execution.
CVE-2019-6659
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-15
On version 14.0.0-14.1.0.1, BIG-IP virtual servers with TLSv1.3 enabled may experience a denial of service due to undisclosed incoming messages.