DoD looking for improvised ways to hurt service members

All you ‘red-teamers’ and ethical hackers out there– listen up!  The DoD may have an intriguing job for you..

If you think you can turn a normally harmless object into a deadly weapon, this may be the right challenge for you. The Pentagon research agency, DARPA, is launching a program called Improv.

According to the official announcement last week, Improv will “fund innovative research proposals for prototype products and systems that have the potential to threaten current military operations, equipment, or personnel and are assembled primarily from commercially available technology.”

The idea is to create sophisticated military technologies, but inexpensively, and to go from concept to working prototype within a tight deadline — three months. DARPA is particularly interested in proposals that use components from non-military specialties, like transportation, construction, maritime, and communications.

Program Manager John Main said, “DARPA’s mission is to create strategic surprise, and the agency primarily does so by pursuing radically innovative and even seemingly impossible technologies.”

Winning projects will move on to an evaluation at a U.S. government test facility. DARPA may then decide to fund the development of countermeasures.

According to, there’s growing concern today about how “commercial and consumer drone and robotics technology, Internet-of-Things devices, and other burgeoning technology could be used to spy on, harass, impede, or even kill members of the military.”

So, if you think you may be able to discover a way to modify off-the-shelf commercial technology to be used against the military by its adversaries–  get to work.

DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office is hosting a webcast for proposers March 29- March 30.

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  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

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