We're not sure where to start with this one. It's, in a word, unbelievable. Technologist Cody Oliver was digging through eBay for parts to build a robot car that Elon Musk
could drive around Burning Man
, when he came across surplus equipment from defense contractors Omnitech Robotics and Ionatron. The components were originally from the military's Joint Improvised Explosive Device Neutralizers, or JINs -- remote-controlled lightning guns designed to disable IEDs. But, the story quickly goes from interesting to terrifying. Oliver soon discovered the weapons were cobbled together largely from off-the-shelf parts, including a Linksys router with the serial numbers scraped off, and lacked even basic security. The now retired JINs were controlled over a standard 802.11 WiFi signal, with the encryption turned off
-- leaving the multimillion dollar devices vulnerable to insurgents. Ultimately the parts were deemed unfit for even Musk's RC art car. You can read all of the horrifying details at the source link.
[Image credit: Cody Oliver]