The Secret Messages are often designed to be destroyed without a trace.

In Spy thriller movie "Mission Impossible", every time Tom Cruise receives a secret message, the last words state - "This Tape message will self-destruct in 5 seconds"...and BOOM!

There's a sudden explosion, and smoke comes out of the device; containing sensitive information few seconds ago.

This Self-destructing thing has become a reality now.

Palo Alto Research Center Incorporated (PARC) a Xerox company, involved in R&D in IT and hardware has under Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA'S) Vanishing Programmable Resources (VAPR) achieved success in developing Self-Destructing computer chips capable of destruction in 10 seconds.

The phenomenon is quite familiar….isn't it?

Now, with DARPA's initiative this is soon going to become a reality intended mainly for the military personnel. With the idea of- "Protection of data that once existed."

PARC showcased this breathtaking technology at the "Wait, What?" event of DARPA in St. Louis Thursday, as part of the agency's VAPR project.

The early model build of the Integrated Circuit (IC) by PARC focuses on mainly two technologies namely:
  • Transient technology
  • DUST (Disintegration Upon Stress-Release Trigger) technology
The data stored in these chips may be encrypted data or a secret message intended for an authenticated person.

The chip designed on a Gorilla Glass substrate is capable of shattering on demand into millions of pieces which cannot be reconstructed. The same glass that is being used as a protective cover for the smartphones.
"We take the glass and we ion-exchange temper it to build in stress," said Gregory Whiting, a senior scientist at PARC. "What you get is glass that, because it's heavily stressed, breaks it fragments into tiny little pieces."
The team of security researchers from PARC in the demonstration in St. Louis showed (See link below) how a laser light activated self-destructing circuit, also the activator could be an RF signal or a physical switch.
"Vanishing electronic devices can be used to address military security, data privacy, and environmental science," says PARC.
DARPA awarded PARC with $2,128,834 amount of money as the contract award for the research under their VAPR program.

This discovery will prove to be of greater importance as, in military operations a piece of sensitive information is marked i.e. an authorized person shall only be able to access the information.

For this many authentication methods and procedures are being utilized by the military but somewhere or the other they are prone to get either stolen or victims of the cyber attack as seen in the current scenario.

The self-destructing chips leave no evidence for the data to be restructured.

This is not the first time such chips have been developed, DARPA has earlier awarded IBM with $3,455,473 in December 2014 for "Developing and establishing a basis set of materials, components, integration, and manufacturing capabilities to undergird this new class of electronics".

At that time, IBM stated different use of materials and engineering to build the Self-destructing chips. Well, now let's wait for their proposed idea to become a reality soon.

Watch above demo video and get to see the reality!

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