Magazine article National Defense

Personal ID Systems Used to Protect Data

Magazine article National Defense

Personal ID Systems Used to Protect Data

Article excerpt

On October 30, 1938, Mars attacked. Or so many radio listeners believed, as Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater of the Air put on a production of H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds."

This drove millions of Americans into a frenzy. Some tried to get out of town. Others loaded shotguns and hid in their cellars.

Fortunately for the public, "War of the Worlds" was planned radio programming. But what would happen if a real terrorist were able to hijack, or jam, a radio frequency? Not only would that hacker potentially gain access to secure information, but he also could stir up a similar, if not more catastrophic, reaction from those who were meant to receive the signal.

The people at MADAHCom Inc., of New York, believe they offer a solution that can prevent this from happening. That company showed off its WAVES (wireless audio visual emergency system) digital wireless spread spectrum alerting systems, at the 16th Annual NDIA Security Technology Symposium, in Williamsburg, Va.

The WAVES systems are designed to prevent communications intrusions or radio-frequency jamming at military bases, municipal/county facilities, office buildings, museums, correctional facilities, hospitals, airports, train stations, shopping malls and amusement parks, among other heavily populated areas. In fact, the communications system was used in Times Square, during the Y2K celebration.

The company's systems are designed to hop infinitely from frequency to frequency, to prevent jamming. By the time an interloper has the chance to determine the user's radio frequency, it has already switched to a new frequency. The systems are used primarily for routine messaging and emergency communications purposes. So if there is a real emergency, a messenger can deliver a notice quickly to the intended recipients.

The WAVES system meets the Joint Chiefs of Staff J-34 requirements, company officials say. That means the system is approved for use in the Defense Department's anti-terrorism operations.

Additional information is available at

Other technologies showcased at the conference included the following:

* Identicator Technology, of San Bruno, Calif., showed off its technology that replaces encryption passwords with fingerprints. Identicator has partnered with several hardware solution providers--Compaq and Motorola, to name a few--to provide the fingerprint capabilities immediately to the buyers of the hardware. …

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