Just ask Jackie Mason: timing is everything. Or you could ask the participants at the Smart Gun & Law Enforcement Symposium. They had the great misfortune of gathering to promote “smart guns” just days after a hacker named “Plore” disabled an Armatix IP1 with $15 worth of magnets.
Did the “smart gun” geniuses acknowledge the hacking problem and promise to make their firearms inviolable?
According to cnet.com:
At the symposium, two smart-gun makers played down the threat of hacks against the connected weapons, calling it a “nuisance” but not a roadblock.
Jonathan Mossberg, the man behind the smart iGun, said the attacks Plore demonstrated were unlikely to happen in real-life scenarios, pointing out that people don’t carry magnets with them everywhere.
Plore disagreed, saying there’d be more magnets available if smart guns were more mainstream.
If there were a bunch of smart guns out there, there might be a reason for criminals to carry magnets,” the hacker said in a phone interview. “It’s a failure of imagination to see the potential downfalls of an insecure system.”
Or you could say it’s a triumph of hubris to downplay the very real — now proven — threat of outside interference with a “smart gun’s” operating system. And not just by hackers or professional criminals. By the government.
“Ernst Mauch, who led the team that designed the IP1, acknowledged that the smart gun he helped design was hacked by simple magnets and said he’s looking to have more-robust security for his futuristic firearms. He said that though hackers breaking into smart guns weren’t a “significant challenge,” gun makers shouldn’t be relaxed when it comes to security.
For future projects, Mauch said, he’ll be inviting hackers to crack firearm safety features, in the same way companies like Tesla offer cash bounties to any hackers who can find flaws with their products.
“We learned our lesson with the IP1,” Mauch said.
Really? I tell you what might be “smart”: a mechanically-operated firearm with no electronic systems that can fail or be hacked. I have a few of those if Herr Mauch or his colleagues are interested in seeing how they work.