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US military hires IBM to work on radios and phones that self-destruct remotely

Posted: , by Luis D.

US military hires IBM to work on radios and phones that self-destruct remotely

The movie scenes with self-destructible phones are already on their way to becoming a reality. In a somewhat bizarre turn of events, the US military's research department, DARPA, signed a $3.4 million contract with IBM on Jan 31. It is aimed towards development of "materials, components, and manufacturing capabilities" for "vanishing programmable resources" such as sensors, radios, and phones used by troops.


In plain English, “VPR” stands for equipment that can be discarded by any means, including programmed or remotely-triggered self-destruction. As part of the deal, IBM is working on a glass-substrate material, which, coupled with remote triggers placed inside one (or multiple) areas of the

device, will make it disintegrate with a mini-boom. Like Snapchat for phones.


According to Dan Olds, an analyst with Gabriel Consulting, the option of self-destructing is important for the safety of sensitive data held on digital devices. Phones and computers left on the battlefield can end up in enemy hands and be probed for many kinds of risky information, causing all kinds of expected and unexpected harm.


With mobile devices becoming increasingly "paranoid", going as far as to utilize fingerprint and, possibly, iris scanners, who knows if next year's flagships won't ship with a self-destruct command? Better yet, a self-destruct API which app developers (and malware) can take advantage of. Okay, we ought to calm our imaginations down, because IBM's smartphone-obliteration technology probably won't make it to the consumer market. But we wonder whether any of you hold so much sensitive data on your phones, that you'd be willing to destroy them remotely if they ended up forgotten or stolen?


via Computer World

15 Comments
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posted on 10 Feb 2014, 09:35 3

1. mr.techdude (Posts: 555; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


So who is the real terrorists now, the f***ing Illuminati scumbags

posted on 10 Feb 2014, 11:54

13. rihel_95 (Posts: 240; Member since: 21 Mar 2012)


Guess what if those phones gets hacked! K-A-B-O-O-M!

posted on 10 Feb 2014, 09:36

2. AfterShock (Posts: 2985; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)


Codes getting out for the boom effect could be a new problem in this age of leaks.

posted on 10 Feb 2014, 09:37 1

3. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


WAPOW!

posted on 10 Feb 2014, 09:38 9

4. nothingmuch (Posts: 183; Member since: 03 May 2013)


Government should be looking into Apple for self destructing phones too

posted on 10 Feb 2014, 09:40

5. SleepingOz (unregistered)


OMG! Hahah..

posted on 10 Feb 2014, 09:43 4

6. RaKithAPeiRiZ (Posts: 1385; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


Apple will sue them for copying the feature

posted on 10 Feb 2014, 09:43 1

7. chunk1x (Posts: 248; Member since: 25 Jun 2011)


They should hire Samsung. They mastered this already. :D

posted on 10 Feb 2014, 09:46 7

8. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8922; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Boooooo! Comment #4 was better.

posted on 10 Feb 2014, 09:53

9. chunk1x (Posts: 248; Member since: 25 Jun 2011)


Soar loser.

posted on 10 Feb 2014, 10:43 5

12. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2725; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


*sore

True losers can't spell.

posted on 10 Feb 2014, 14:49

14. quakan (Posts: 1223; Member since: 02 Mar 2011)


Comment #7 was better.

posted on 10 Feb 2014, 10:13

10. linaresx (Posts: 86; Member since: 13 Jun 2013)


And the secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions.

posted on 10 Feb 2014, 10:27 1

11. tedkord (Posts: 5278; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Goddammit. You beat me to it by 12 stinking minutes.

posted on 10 Feb 2014, 17:02 1

15. zennacko (Posts: 236; Member since: 16 Jun 2013)


Best part of this technology: It COULD be set to self-destruct on any attempt to copy/DL sensitive data, so basically the United States is like "Take that in your face and suck us now" to Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.

And I do think that this will not be military-exclusive for long... businessmen carry much more useful data than their instagram pics on their gadgets nowadays...

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