Nearly everyone agrees that passwords are the bane of Internet security. For years, industry thinkers have somewhat vaguely referenced the need for Internet fingerprints capable of reliably verifing identities online. Yet here we are, it’s 2013 and passwords remain the primary means of authenticating users onto networks and workstations.

The speculation is rampant that certain manufacturers are installing backdoors in their own products or that foreign and criminal elements are exploiting weaknesses in the supply chain to compromise IT and networking equipment somewhere between vendors and their customers. The Pentagon is trying to find some way of guaranteeing that their hardware and software are secure, and so the Department of Defense is assigning its out-there research division, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), to do just that.

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the avant-garde research and development arm of the Department of Defense – perhaps best known for its central role in the development of the Internet – is soliciting research proposals that would help the military improve its cyber battlespace capabilities such that they match the DoD’s existing superiority in the other domains of war.

Generations of hobbyists hardware hackers have spent countless hours messing with piles of radio gear, happily tinkering away in garages and basements looking for new ways to connect to people around the world. Now, a researcher has put together a new radio called HackRF that is a kind of all-in-one hacker’s dream with functionality to intercept and reverse-engineer traffic from a wide range of frequencies and sources.

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