[Fwd: The PC Death Ray]
Fri, 24 Sep 1999 11:34:10 -0400
Reminds me of the days just before I got into amateur radio when we
used Model A sparks coils, a battery, and short piece of wire to
generate random noise throughout the HF spectrum; it tended to take out
the ham station down the street that was getting into everyone's hifi.
Also during the 1950s and 1960s, a number of telephone exchanges were
so targeted to test their survivability in the event of an EMP. Their
electronic components tended to fail within the next six months after
receiving a pulse.
Andre' Kesteloot wrote:
> > BEWARE THE PC DEATH RAY
> > WASHINGTON -- With $500 and a trip to the hardware store,
> > saboteurs can build a device capable of remotely disrupting
> > computers, automobiles, medical equipment and nearly anything
> > else dependent on electronics, according to a California engineer
> > who demonstrated a home-brew computer death-ray at the InfowarCon
> > '99 conference here Wednesday.
> > Former Navy engineer David Schriner showed off an unwieldy
> > device constructed from a parabolic reflector, a horn antenna and
> > two automotive ignition coils, which he aimed at two personal
> > computers about 20 feet away.
> > When an assistant activated the Rube Goldberg contraption by
> > connecting it to a car battery, the conference room filled with a
> > loud buzzing from the PA system and a PowerPoint presentation on
> > the projection screen flickered and scattered. One of the
> > computers instantly dropped out of its screen saver.
> > When the device was switched off, both PCs were frozen, and
> > wouldn't respond to keyboard input.
> > The effects of High Energy Radio Frequency (HERF) emissions
> > on electronics are well known among engineers, and info-warriors
> > have expressed concern that adversarial nations may someday
> > include computer-killing devices in their arsenals.
> > Military aircraft are built with hardened electronics
> > designed to survive the electromagnetic pulse created by a
> > nuclear detonation. Schriner theorized that a single nuclear
> > weapon designed specifically for the purpose, "would probably
> > take out all of the electronics on the East Coast."
> > But Schriner, who has devoted his research to small-scale
> > electronic warfare, said the demonstration was intended as a
> > "wake up call" to show that even low-budget saboteurs can create
> > viable electronic weapons.
> > "We bought the car battery at Wal-Mart yesterday," said
> > Schriner. "It's all stuff you can buy at the hardware store."
> > The HERF gun is not particularly high-tech, either. The
> > device uses technology dating back to (inventor Nikola) Tesla,
> > essentially pushing a 20 megawatt burst of undisciplined radio
> > noise through an antenna. The energy is enough to interfere with
> > sensitive computer components nearby, creating unpredictable
> > results ranging from minor anomalous behavior, to complete
> > burnout.
> > Schriner said he's built larger HERF guns capable of
> > crashing computers and disabling automobiles at a range of 100
> > feet, with a cost as low as $300.
> > Jonathan Lemkin, a screenwriter working on an infowar script
> > for Paramount, was particularly impressed with the dramatic
> > display and menacing hardware. "That's definitely going in the
> > movie," he said.
> > The computers targeted in Wednesday's demonstration worked
> > fine after rebooting, and Schriner said permanent damage is
> > uncommon. "But if that happens to be a computer in a tank, or in
> > a piece of medical equipment, how long does it take to reboot?
> > By that time you could be dead."
> > Conference organizer and infowar author Winn Schwartau said
> > Wednesday's demonstration validates a threat he first tried to
> > warn Congress about in 1991.
> > "They asked if I thought they should add HERF guns to the
> > Brady Bill," Schwartau recalls.
> > -- Ziff Davis News Network
> > * * * * *