The article in Technewsworld is about a self-destructing mechanism for microchips that is still at its prototype stage. The glass surface is similar to Gorilla Glass and uses processes similar to those used in the manufacture of tempered glass for windshields. In this case, a process of ‘ion exchange tempering is used to ensure that the glass comes out very thin (Germain, 2015). The tempering process builds in a lot of stress in the glass so that when it breaks, the stress is released and the glass ruptures into numerous little particles, and the cracking propagate into the electronics that disintegrate as well.
The glass can be caused to disintegrate using various destruct commands, such as a voice phrase, a mechanical switch, laser, a radio signal, or a photodiode. The time between issuing a self-destruct command and the command being executed are only two seconds, showing the efficiency of the technology (Germain, 2015). Electronics placed on the self-destructing chip can be safeguarded as it requires a person to issue a command and the electronics disintegrates, thereby ensuring that the electronics do not get into the wrong hands.
The technology has numerous applications for Homeland Security, especially in the age of cyber hacking. Presently, what all hackers need to do is get access to encryption keys to get the information, but self-destruction will prove essential for digital rights management even when hackers manage to gain access to the electronics. Currently, the Department of Homeland Security is aiming at using the Black Phone, a sophisticated phone that is immune to hacking. The system will incorporate a neuromorphic computer chip that can identify its users using motion sensors (Prigg, 2015). Once the chip identifies that the phone has been tampered with, it self-destructs and destroys the phone, rendering it useless to the thief or hacker. Security personnel will be able to have secure communication without the threat of hacking.
Besides being useful in safeguarding communication, the technology will be useful in data security. Encryption keys for data storage devices used by homeland security apparatus will be stored in the self-destructing chip, and when the keys are tampered with, they will be destroyed rendering the information inaccessible to hackers (Germain, 2015). The technology will thus be useful to practitioners since they can store sensitive information on devices with the full confidence that the information cannot be retrieved by anyone else except the intended user.
The Department of Homeland Security does not have to use explicitly the technology for it to have an impact on homeland security. Other state departments have seen a series of hacking in recent years that have caused state secrets, personnel files, and personal information to be leaked. If these departments use encryption keys stored in the self-destructing chip to store the files accessible via the Internet, the information can be removed quickly and reliably when a threat is detected (Germain, 2015).
Private companies will also benefit from the technology, and help improve homeland security by making communication safe. If communication companies were to use the technology for hardware and software encryption, citizens of the nation would not lose sensitive information to hackers. Moreover, the movie and recording industries will also be able to enforce their copyrights by encrypting information using self-exploding chips (Germain, 2015). Banking records, health, and insurance information that are sensitive to homeland security can be safeguarded using the new technology. In conclusion, the technology will be a significant step in the elimination of cybersecurity threats.
Germain, J. M. (2015, September 22). Exploding Chip Could Thwart Cyberthieves. Retrieved from technewsworld.com:
Prigg, M. (2015, September 24). Department of Homeland Security to create ‘brain chip’ phone to constantly monitor users and SELF DESTRUCT if an unauthorised person tampers with it. Retrieved from dailymail.co.uk: