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Can Drones Fry Computers With Microwave Blasts? Yup!

New drone weapons can 'fry' computers by the dozen
(Photo by Gary Williams/Getty Images)

Technological warfare has been taken up a notch. The U.S. Air Force has successfully tested a new weapon: a microwave blasting pulse that knocks out (completely fries) computers in several test buildings during a test in Utah.

The High Powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) is a supercharged electromagnetic pulse (EMP) mounted on a cruise missile or drone. The missile was directed to fly by a two-story building and EMP pulses knocked out row after row of computers!

But perhaps the disturbing part of this is that other countries have begun to tinker with their own versions of EMP and jamming technology. Iran has been flying drones over U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf taking pictures. According to Iranian officials, they were able to hack into satellites that help provide direction to U.S. drones, and that’s how they were able to “trick” the SQ-170 drone that landed in Afghanistan last November. Early news reports indicated it had crashed after losing contact with its home base, but Iranian reports claim they were able to “fool” the drone into thinking it was still being controlled by U.S. officials.¬† They reportedly made the drone turn around and land relatively undamaged in the desert.

They have  reportedly taken information from the SQ-170 and applied it to their own (until now) less sophisticated aircraft. The U.S. is not the only nation with drone technology; Israel, Iran, Russia, Germany, and England all have sophisticated unmanned aircraft programs.

The drones are designed to self-destruct if it becomes apparent a “foreign” entity is attempting to, or has taken control of, the device. But if you can provide the same guidance language to the drone as its host, you can control it. Security experts say hostile countries who could hack drone controls could perhaps even program the unmanned aircraft to be used against its original host!

Officials fear unfriendly nations could use such hacking technology to not only direct drones and cruise missles, but perhaps interrupt communications with planes, tanks and ground troops, who are also directed where to go and often what to shoot at, by infrared satellite control systems.

U.S. intelligence officials have already begun to work on the next generation of smart-controlled weapons as a precaution against hackers, who may have infiltrated the latest models used today.

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