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DARPA looks to head off threats from off-the-shelf tech

by • March 11, 2016 • No Comments

In a world where 3D-printed guns are a reality, security threats are no longer the reserve of a hostile nation’s military. With high end technologies increasingly accessible to groups and people, DARPA is initiating a program called “Improv” that is definitely meant to select and assume future threats of commercially-on the market off-the-shelf innovation.

If you surf the Internet adequate, you are bound to come across a story of how an old-fashioned Nokia mobile phone or a effortless Casio digital watch yet retails in sizeable numbers in a few parts of the world despite their being hopelessly obsolete. According to defense analysts, part of the reason for this mysterious popularity, aside of their retro rad, is for the reason they are quite great as bomb components for terrorists.

This deadly repurposing illustrates the problem that the United States and other high end military powers face. The US defense strategy is based on maintaining a technological advantage over future adversaries, but according to DARPA, off-the-shelf equipment for civilian industries such as transportation, construction, agriculture, and other commercial sectors include a frightening mixture of quite high end technologies that can be turned to nefarious applications.

If you’ve at any time been on an airliner and wondered why your phone’s GPS does not work, that is definitely for the reason the hardware is programmed to shut down if it thinks it is been installed in a missile. All sorts of devices have much like safeguards or are covered by export restrictions to prevent them of falling into the wrong hands, but none of that does any great if the innovation isn’t best known as a threat in the initially place.

DAPRA’s answer is to commence the Improv initiative wherein engineers, biologists, information technologists – experts and hobbyists of many various fields – can appear a ways in that off-the-shelf electronics and other components can be converted or combined into future security threats via rapid prototyping and open-source code.

As part of the system, DARPA says that is can appear at every candidate project and the many promising can go on to full development. The goal is to go of submission to full working prototype in 90 days. Depending on results, a few may go on to additional study.

“DARPA frequently appears at the world of the point of view of our future adversaries to predict what they can do with on the market innovation,” says program manager John Main. “Historically we did this by pulling together a tiny group of technical experts, but the effortless availability in today’s world of an huge range of powerful technologies means that any group of experts just covers a tiny slice of the on the market possibilities. In Improv we are reverying out to the full range of technical experts to involve them in a significant national security issue.”

DARPA can provide information to those wishing to propose a project in a Proposers Day webcast on March 29, repeated on March 30.

Source: DARPA

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