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Wireless Networking Networking Hardware

Military Testing WMD Sensors at Super Bowl 176

Lam1969 writes "Members of the Michigan National Guard will be at the Super Bowl on Sunday to deploy 'sensor fusion', a real-time, IP-based wireless technology that combines readings from portable and fixed devices that can potentially detect terrorist threats. While sensors capable of detecting chemical, biological, or radiological threats have been used at previous Super Bowls, the readings had to be communicated by radio between different security personnel. Sensor fusion automatically takes readings from the devices and uploads them to a central, secure Web server, where security staff anywhere can monitor conditions at the event. From the article: 'The software uses open standards and is open-source, based on the OSGi Service Platform, which is a standardized, component-oriented computing environment for networked services. OSGi allows networked devices to be managed from anywhere in the world, while allowing software to be installed, updated or removed on the fly while the device is operating.'"
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Military Testing WMD Sensors at Super Bowl

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  • by elwin_windleaf ( 643442 ) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @11:27AM (#14641657) Homepage

    They mentioned that the central web server was secure, but is there any information about the security of each node?

    Whenever I hear anything about Wireless networking, I instantly have a security lightbulb that goes off in my head. Since it's based on IP technology, is there anything in place to prevent traditional wireless security issues? Can you spoof nodes?

    Granted, no system is perfect, but I'm wondering if this system could be used to draw security away from a particular area, only to allow a potential threat to get in the back door.

  • Re:"secure" (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Musteval ( 817324 ) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @11:29AM (#14641660)
    According to the article summary, the software is open source. So everything should be fine unless some terrorist discovers a gaping security flaw in the code and doesn't tell anybody.

    Personally, I wouldn't open-source software this important, just because the ratio of potential abusers to fixers, not to mention the potential damage done, is so high.
  • Sensors in DC (Score:4, Interesting)

    by f1055man ( 951955 ) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @11:42AM (#14641714)
    DC has sensors that sound similar. They've also proven to be almost useless: http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2005/10/18/tular emia/ [salon.com]
  • by gte910h ( 239582 ) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @12:16PM (#14641841) Homepage
    Sorry, as someone who's worked with robots before, I just had to clear this up.

    Sensor fusion is whenever you take data from multiple incoming sensors, and automatically combine them to form a picture of the world. This system FEATURES sensor fusion, however it is not called that.

    I think testing the system during the superbowl is a great idea. I think telling people that you're testing it during the superbowl is a stupendously foolish idea. You're going to have all sorts of people screwing with it, from people bringing in irradiated crap, to just plain 802.11 devices setup to jam it.

    Wait, unless that's what they're testing about the system.....

  • by Catbeller ( 118204 ) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @02:21PM (#14642450) Homepage
    Why don't we all become permanent members of the U.S. Army Reserves, subject everyone to military law, and cancel all public gatherings? Safety First! Who needs freedom when you can have ultimate safety.

    I hear Halliburton is getting to build more mass detention camps [presstelegram.com] on U.S. soil. Watch what you say, watch what you do...

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell