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Rebels Can't Go Home - Chapter 59

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Tek’s first impulse was denial. This entity that made Seeker look like an infant couldn’t be real. His second impulse was rage. He’d overpowered Seeker, hadn’t he? Found a way to outmaneuver her at every turn, compensating for the fact she had started out being able to think faster than him, move faster, have a huge fleet, and more. Tek had broken Seeker, systematically and completely, and ended his fight just the way he wanted. Hand to claw, relaxing, proving she was just something to be hunted, after all. The stars were another jungle. Null zones were pit traps. Preparation, knowing your enemy, turning their habits into downfalls--all that was exactly the same.
“Stars?” asked the Progenitor. “You think you are among the stars?”
Tek couldn’t fight this. All his planning, and it was reduced to nothing the moment a zookeeper arrived.
“I want to leave this system,” he said, simply, honestly, as the Progenitor dilated time around them, stretching words to the length of heartbeats. “I want to see the universe. Exit the garden you made for me. Teach me. Tell me why that is wrong.”
“The universe wasn’t for you,” said the Progenitor.
There was a twist, and Tek’s consciousness flew out of the Liberty’s Call bridge.
Passed a hall where Jane Lee and Nith were fighting Morok, surrounded by fallen armored and furred bodies. Morok reared at Jane Lee, whose invisibility was stuttering, and would have torn her apart with his fangs, if not for the fact Nith, wearing marine armor, helmet setting just turned transparent enough for Tek to see her face, interposed.
Morok took what he could get. Ripped out Nith’s arm, along with too much internal viscera.
Tek heard the words in Nith’s mind, as the Progenitor showed him, all in the fragmented moments before Tek’s consciousness zoomed further away.
Protect… First Hunter’s… Wife… Our future…
Tek could feel Nith’s heartbeat slow, feel her dying, and then someone in the passageway threw a grenade.
Morok batted it away before it exploded.
Tek could feel Morok’s disgust about how Tek had used Morok’s training in the bowels of Liberty’s Call as a tool to infiltrate deep the super Titan, bringing Vendion closer to Seeker. Morok considered this a betrayal of his and Tek’s agreement. Morok thought that he had been the one to hew closer to the terms.
Jane Lee took the moment to attack Morok again.
Tek could hear her mind, too.
I can’t let him down. I can’t let him down. These were almost the only cogent thoughts in Jane Lee’s mind, on repeat, and echo, as she used her jet to bounce off the wall, a sort of environmental move Tek might have done, and came around to the intersection between Morok’s abdomen and cephalothorax. The combination of jungle strategy and specops technique had slipped past Morok’s cor-vo-bitten leg, and his guard. From above, Jane Lee stabbed down with her microedge and rifle bayonet.
Morok purr-roared, Nith’s heart stopped beating, and someone threw another grenade, or maybe a microcharge.
The passageway went white. Tek’s disembodied mind continued to flee, and expand, until he found himself outside the Liberty’s Call, looking at the ship that had bitten it.
And.
Looking at the gargantuan, kilometers-long cor-vo that swam in space by the Titan’s side, needing no air, more true and beautiful than the battleships designed for void that hung like decorations around it.
Your vessel, Tek thought to the Progenitor. You need a ship? I like the aspect you chose as its form.
The Progenitor laughed, and it seemed nearby Titans themselves rattled in mirth. That’s just another part of me, Little One.
Tek found himself staring into the false cor-vo’s beak, as it flickered into a lion, a dragon, and then a hundred other shapes from distant planets or philosophy that Tek had never learned. His consciousness, buoyed by the Progenitor, continued to expand, or maybe be merged with the Progenitor’s own, until Tek’s vision was filled with what seemed like a holographic view of the entire battlefield, almost exactly what he remembered from the display Seeker had put on to try to flatter him, spanning well beyond both ends of the null maze.
The true scope of the cor-vo was apparent here. It was size of a planet. It was still just an avatar. Its gravitational pull affected none of the ships or stellar environment that swirled around, because the Progenitor had neatly diverted that effect to trouble a different dimension. A span astronomical units in all directions rippled, and the battle Tek had worked so hard to set to his favor stressed up and down, like the Home Fleet was conformed to the surface of a vicious ocean current, stretched almost unrecognizable, and yet unharmed, because this was exactly the way the true universe always was, and humans were just too blind to see.
Tek had the distinct sense he was being offered just a fraction of what the Progenitor perceived.
Do they see you? asked Tek, referring to the monolithic avatar. Did the fighting stop?
They perceive, said the Progenitor. Not exactly as you do--their instruments warp and stutter, as if I am a singularity, or a sun--but they, and the hybrids on the bridge, did perceive a fraction of what I allow you to witness in more complete glory. Few flatlings--even not Seeker, who you terrified so--get to perceive a Progenitor so clearly. Most do not know us when we interact. You are lucky, perhaps, to see such a great percentage of the truth. Closer and you would be ripped apart. You can touch the totality of what I am no more than an organism trapped on a scientist’s slide can rear to the height of its tester.
Is that what you are? asked Tek, as the binary stars themselves kaleidoscoped and spun, as Tek’s consciousness was pulled by the Progenitor even further outwards. All was nothing, and the light and dark was the same, and Tek was torn into pieces and everywhere at once. If he had to use a metaphor, it was as if the Progenitor had pulled Tek into a womb.
Enough, agreed the Progenitor. My brethren do many things more interesting than observing the human stain upon its slice of the universe, but someone has to make sure the bugs don’t crawl in the house.
Tek saw a fragment image that reminded him of Crystal Sector.
All those colonists? he wondered. They were on someone’s lawn?
The swirling lights that threatened to overwhelm Tek belched further accord. You are a quick one, said the Progenitor. The Icarus metaphor you thought, on Liberty’s Call*. An instructor in the Academy vids only gave that Earth mythological reference once, and you noticed the relevance immediately. You are amusing. Someone more sentimental than me might even call you a delight.*
“Now,” said the Progenitor, abrupting sitting in a high-backed blue chair, behind a desk, surrounded by a gray void. It appeared in the shape of Weri, Tek’s mother. Not how she’d been, but how he remembered her, too beautiful to be real, smile larger the sun, formed warped, as if seen through a bubble, because Tek’s memories were old and faded. “We have business. The bugs, as you might say, are threatening again to get in the house. As part of the protocol, the tradition, I am supposed to examine one, and he who climbed to the top of the anthill seemed like the right choice. Seeker was fumigation chemical. The next fumigation chemical we make must be better.”
Tek knew he had to keep the Progenitor talking. He knew the Progenitor was peering into his mind far more thoroughly than a neural link ever could, knew that his new stratagem had been dissected and understood the moment he’d thought it up. Tek could only hope the stratagem was the sort that worked even if the instructions were clearly broadcast from the label.
“Fermi paradox,” he said. “That’s what you are. The answer to the riddle.”
Tek was seated in front of the Progenitor, in an ancient leather chair. The Progenitor leaned forwards. “Explain.”
“In the xenoanthropology lecture I listened to,” said Tek. “Professor Dewan was talking about the SETI project, and how for so many years, humans in the old days couldn’t find signs of sentient life around distant stars, even though they tried so hard to hear. The classic explanation, the pessimistic interpretation of the Drake equation, was that the chances of sentient life were so tiny that humans were alone in the universe. A quirk of fractional chances of star and planet formation rates, habitable zone location chances, abiogenesis, the nature of civilizational formation, and the nature of signal emission. No one had good numbers to put in the Drake equation, but much speculation centered around the idea that it was hard to create life from nothing. The pre-civilization odds, if you will. I think this is true, but I also think your species is ancient, and became lords of the stars far before Apollo went to the Moon. Why didn’t my ancestors detect you? Because the way you communicate naturally was far beyond the ability of the SETI electromagnetic receivers to notice. We were never alone, not for one day of our history, but we were unable to perceive.”
“You’re not saying the part you think will annoy me,” said the Progenitor.
“If you came first,” said Tek. “Because someone had to, you squashed all the others. Because they were bugs to you. Maybe your species was born extradimensional, and maybe the other species were likewise different from humans in ways mind-boggling to comprehend, but they were out there, just as you were out there, and you killed them. Maybe not intentionally. The sixth extinction of Earth, which occured around the time humanity developed space travel, involved, relevantly, the deaths of hundreds of animal species, with a special focus on animals that disturbed human hegemony on Earth. So many species, like the sort of tiger Larcery may have been made in the image of, survived only with human intervention. Or in zoos.”
Tek couldn’t help but smile. “The garden worlds. You think you’re showing a kindness, don’t you? Sweep humanity out of the way, set up preserves, because otherwise, the industrialists among you, the poachers, the ones who want to kill for amusement, or merely because they want to build your equivalent of a highway, will wipe us out merely by going through the natural action of what it means to be a citizen or company in a civilization as fantastically advanced as yours.”
“You are much less than a tiger to us,” said the Progenitor. It didn’t sound like a criticism. Not really. Just a statement of fact.
“Are you sorry?” asked Tek. “You, who arrived to your sentience and power first? You who might have been us, had our times been swapped, had we come into our own billions of years ago, like your kind?”
“We do not count time as you do,” said the Progenitor. “We count universes. I need to undo you now. Remove the chief pest, and set K-3423 back, mostly, to the way it was. You are amusing, just like your grandfather--” Tek saw a flash of this Progenitor hiding behind Uk’s eyes, terrifying Aratan into vowing to spend his life guarding the escape pod “--but you were not the first, and will not be the last. I have an itinerary. I ripped everything from your mind the moment we met, your permutations, possibilities, but while it is not a waste of time to watch a dog perform a trick you know it knows, I have a job to do. People to see. I am not alone in the universe, even if I will never recognize humanity as an equal. You were right about Progenitors having a civilization.”
“Wait,” said Tek.
“Why?”
“The anthropic principle. Your kind will eventually be beaten. Even if by entropy. As you said, there will be many bugs after me. There is a value in keeping something like me. Giving me a larger preserve than just the planet. Scientific or leisurewise.”
“Entropy?” the Progenitor asked.
“A constant,” said Tek. “Just as the people of the Union flatter themselves to wear ornate clothing, which always thins, we are all worn by the universe itself.”
“I know what entropy is, Little One. Let me show you.”
The room was gone. Tek’s body was gone. There was nothing. Then an explosion. Quarks making atoms making galactic density variations making suns, which erupted into heavier atoms and built new suns and worlds. Tek imagined the elegance was better than what had existed in the universe containing K-3423-H1, and Earth. The creation of a new universe, as an art piece. Was it real?
Tek found himself zooming towards a sun, feeling all the intensity of its heat, somehow without any pain. As a tickle. Perception. Pleasure.
Flying through the corona of one of these yellow factories is like a bath, isn’t it? asked the Progenitor. It’s so much colder when you get to the chromosphere, only a few thousand Kelvin, but if you want the real hot tub, you just need to move through to the center. Fifteen million Kelvin. There’s a galactic collision in your universe I could show you that gets into the hundreds of millions, surprisingly accessible via tachyon currents, but if I brought you there, some of my kind would ask me why I wasn’t working. I hope the house I built is proof sufficient to show that my kind tamed entropy the way your kind tamed fire.
The ‘house’ the Progenitor made wasn’t the sun. It was the entire little universe the Progenitor had created for Tek, just to prove a point. Tek felt it. This universe was real. Tek was standing on the closest the sun had to a surface, the dense plasma at its core, and, thanks to the way the Progenitor sheltered him, he could feel a facsimile of what the Progenitor was enjoying.
The right metaphor was akin to washing one’s hands.
To something on the scale of a Progenitor, a star was an appliance.
They popped back to the room with the desk. “Don’t drop your matches,” said the Progenitor. “Every one of our children knows how to prevent the heat death of a universe. You have no idea what to even threaten me with. This is the end. You knew your mother as Weri. Aratan used a pet name for her, Nila. You never knew a fact so close to you. What other infinities are beyond your reach?”
“Track-jeeps,” said Tek. “Tread-jeeps. Synonyms. Superficial. What words intend matter. Was I an idiot because I started off with an accent the people of the Union could barely understand? Entropy was a metaphor too, at least the way I meant it. Your kind has a relationship with the universes you swim through and build. If this is a formality, and I could never be of use to you kept alive, why have you spent so long talking with me?”
“Zigfried Torgus thought as you did,” said the Progenitor. “He was memorable. He grew up on one of the planets pruned early from the edges of what the Union called the Prime Colonies. He launched a rebellion. Seized the world’s environmental controls and defeated two who were like Seeker, if at more of a remove than you did. He understood us as well as any human could. Thought he would escape our notice. Thought we would think he was amusing. Even began to commit the sort of brutalities our greater servants seem to enjoy, because he thought he could humor us through his revolution’s self-imposed restrictions. Several of his memory-clones are screaming in boxes, somewhere. We do not take kindly to those who think they know what we want.”
“I have no interest in proceeding further while guessing at your desires,” said Tek. “I merely wish to point out that there is a use you can set me to, you, who find so many things beneath your notice, who has no interest in using the full might of the Progenitors to burn a house down looking for ants. I will not pledge to keep my rebellion within constraints, if you let me free. Laws of war such as were established in Hague or Geneva are not appropriate to the relationship between humans and Progenitors. As we are, we can never be equals. Nor will I pledge to be your mindless tool. You do not want that. You do not need that. What I believe you want are people like Seeker. I defeated her. You clapped. Consider that my audition.”
“You fought so hard to tear us down,” said the Progenitor. “Why are you willing to give up? Go corporate? Be the opposite?”
“Because I see you,” said Tek. “I look up at the totality of what you are, in half-wonder, half-confusion, just as I did when I first saw the Gyrfalcon in the sky. The Not-Bird. And, with time to think and reflect, I can change my approach. I came to the conclusion that I craved going the sky after feeling the loss of the outsiders disappear. Just as now, I come to the conclusion that the only salvage I can manage here is to offer the services of everything I have and may build. You know this is no lie. That, while I will always strive for the benefit of those who have vested any trust in me, that count includes you. Will be overwhelmed by you. And you do not need any trust, not really. Because even now, you are dissecting my mind, and see that I have made an iron vow that any permutation of my future will be for your benefit.”
Strengths to weaknesses, thought Tek. One becomes the other. One as powerful as Seeker would never dare trust him. But for a Progenior, who had very little at stake, and could verify…
“You will have other objectives too,” said the Progenitor.
Tek inclined his head. “Of course. Just as Seeker did. But, as I was better than her, I think I can satisfy your desires more.”
“You know I am an exterminator,” said the Progenitor. “The things I will ask of you will be both horrific and nearly impossible, because I would only want to get maximum use out of my tools. No point in sparing the brush.”
“I will find a way to satisfy my morality and your will,” said Tek. “You know this. You predicted every word of this conversation. I thank you for humoring me, and not disappearing after the first moment, leaving me to wonder if our communication was real.”
“I was not always unkind,” said the Prognitor, morphing to the visage of Brian Alves. “I have a family, you know. In my discretion as an exterminator in this sector of space, I dub you my hand. Pending the outcome of three trials. The first is simple, and I know you will pass, but you must hear it.”
“What?”
“You, who have fought for humanity, are not human. Tell me what you think of that, Tek of Zhadir’.”
“Tell me what you mean,” asked Tek, gripping the armrests of the leather chair that was probably three thousands other things besides.
“Did you ever notice that you and Aratan were a bit above mere mortals? That the only human who could keep up with you was a juiced MMA champion, and that, barely? Did you notice that she beat you in part because you allowed it? Did you notice that you absorbed more knowledge in the short weeks you spent knowing about the stars than most Academy graduates dream of? Did you notice that you matched wits with a part-machine that was supposed to be able to think faster than you, and with the bare advantage that Seeker didn’t know you were coming, kept it that way, and have already made one part in ten of her fleet your own? Does that sound human, Tek of Zhadir’?”
“You will not take my accomplishments away from me merely by pointing out they happened,” said Tek. “I imagine I was lucky as well as skilled. The anthropic principle would suggest that there are any number of people who could have been me, who were so good at organizing that their forces raged on without them, but who were taken out before they reached full prime. If you wish to flatter me, and say I was destined, Elder Progenitor, I will happily give more commentary if you tell me why.”
“Your lineage traces to certain eugenics programs from the early days of human spaceflight,” said the Progenitor. “Your ancestors who knew Earth were bred like cattle. One tech-head told to marry another. Olympic athletes too. Until the seed was so great that it persisted in the body of a passenger on the Procession of Paradise even after the program was shut down. Aratan’s grandmother, did not, after her mind was wiped, bear many children, and not all of those in the line of decent possessed the traits that human scientists worked so hard to build. Some did, in various degrees and expressions. Aratan. Sten. You.”
“People who are similar sometimes have children,” said Tek. “Arranged marriages existed among clanfolk and among cityfolk, back on a certain world that I mourn. To be the product of ancestors who had their own adventures, or were bent to the whims of others, is to be human.”
“You do not understand,” said the Progenitor. “There were gene therapies too. And the stock that made you had notable traits. A fairly large portion of your DNA is Homo neanderthalensis.”
“A sentient species that grew up beside Homo sapiens humans on Earth,” said Tek, straining to remember. “Overrun, but not so different to prevent some from interbreeding with their conquerors. I am proud to continue their legacy. To merge the lines. I am still human. And so were they, in every way that matters.”
“Gene therapies,” said the Progenitor. “That part can by no stretch be considered natural. You are no role model for children to follow. You were blessed beyond their ken. That which you have worked for, mildly, is beyond the abilities of many who would devote their lives.”
“What is a identity?” asked Tek. “When a company drops popultants in the water and the next generation of fish are mutant fish, do those fish not deserve the title? When a person has an accident, loses a limb, and gets a prosthetic, stronger, does that person stop being human? When a person merges their decision making much with a link, does that make the person inhuman? I do not think in the worlds we live in, you can draw so bright a line. In this day and age, with the right backing, choices, or luck, it would not be impossible for any human alive to become at least a fraction of Seeker. Your kind doesn’t make it that easy to become a hybrid, but as far as I can tell, being a hybrid--stronger than me at baseline, mind you--is more a matter of choice for those living on Progenitor Administration worlds than you would care for me to remember. And I was told--Jane Lee told” (the Progenitor forced Tek to say the name) “that there are certain experimental Union military programs that do some fraction of the same. You try to make the science that made me sound unique, but the legacy continues, even if the specific program was canceled. And there were others who strove towards similar goals as me. You said it yourself. There are things I have been given that others do not have--the worlds are unfair--but they are unfair at all levels. A thousand barriers separating classes of those you would trivially consider human. Ten thousand different skillsets, and more, each with different cheats. Everyone has a unique combination of traits, everyone can improve from their various starting gates, and everyone is best at something.”
“Tell that to a cripple,” said the Progenitor.
“Cripple in what?” asked Tek. “Mind or body? Besides, compared to you, I fit the word without qualifiers. It’s almost as if I’m human.”
One advantage of the Progenitor knowing Tek’s soul was that Tek figured the jab, once thought, was as good as said.
“I said you would pass,” said the Progenitor. “I accept your delusion. The next trial is a sacrifice. Everyone who joins us must offer something. Initiation rituals are important, even for someone of your will. You must know how much you have given up to be my hand. You will be nowhere near as effective, otherwise.”
“Make me a hybrid,” said Tek. “Make me like Morok, so I can mourn that I was not able to be a better friend. Take my body, do whatever you want to it, take it from me entirely, put me in a computer, split my soul in two-- I will suffer anything, and gladly. You know this.”
“I will keep you just as you are, Tek of Zhadir’,” said the Progenitor. “I think I will go after your brother.”
Tek stayed externally composed, but he imagined that for something like the Progenitor, he might as well have not bothered. The Progenitor, returning to looking like a dream version of his mother, nodded along.
“I will offer a choice,” said the Progenitor. “To make your decision as painful as possible. It is not, ‘give me Sten, or die.’ It will be, ‘give me Sten, or go back to the way things were.’ In the option where you back out, I will restore K-3423-H1. Put the re’eef back, and all the other animals, plants, fungi, etcetera. Resurrect facsimiles of all the dead. Many of these facsimiles may be the real thing, by your estimation. Just as there are competing human standards of death--easier with the heart than the brain--the standards by which my kind judges end are pushed to the limit further still. You can have all this, be restored to the jungle, with Sten. I will even throw in a boon and make it so he will not die of illness. I will force you alone to keep your memories, of course, so you will always know. I will take the pod and the Paradise, and I will close a dome around the world, that pretends to be the sky, so nothing will enter or leave until long after you are dust. But you will be as happy as you could possibly be on that planet. You will probably get to retake Ba’am.”
“Grandfather?”
“I cannot say if he will be your grandfather,” said the Progenitor. “My standards are different than yours. But he will certainly think he is Aratan. I will undo every bit of the suffering that came with the Gyrfalcon, and his death counts.”
“Or?”
“Or you give me Sten of your own free will,” said the Progenitor. “I will pluck him from the Restoration where he sits, and make him mine. And with that small change complete, I will return you to the moment of your triumph over Seeker. Not that it is so impressive. Seeker was barely a newborn. You will need to finish Seeker, clean up her fleet, and be ready for my instructions, when they arrive. I will offer no assistance with this. If Seeker manages to save self, or if you falter, you are no instrument that can help me. At the start, you will be trapped on Liberty’s Call, surrounded by hybrids, and your battleships, themselves nearly surrounded in the null maze, will be outnumbered nearly by a order of magnitude. Sten, whatever I will do to him--he may be the only member of the Alliance who lives. Ripping out the heart of the Home Fleet, Seeker, does not guarantee victory. There are many who are anxious to serve. Even if you win, your dead will stay dead. And the survivors will, through you, be enslaved to a being that cares not one iota whether they live or die, unless of course, you make a mistake and fly to contaminate the wrong part of the universe.”
“What is your name?” asked Tek. “I would like to know what to call the being to whom I swear allegiance.”
“No hesitation,” said the Progenitor. “I knew it was coming, but it is still a sight to see. Amuse me further. Tell the audience why you would sacrifice your brother.”
“It cannot be for nothing. Even if the result will be tainted from what first I wanted. The stars are worth fighting for. I will not falter now. I will break the Home Fleet.”
“Once, you said it was all for your brother. For his future.”
“Maybe that was a lie I told myself,” said Tek. “Or maybe it was always one of the reasons, because I am complex, like we all are. A reason you have forced me to drop because, as I am fallible, it is no longer the reason at the center. I notice you do not say what you will do with Sten. You do not say that you will kill him. I imagine you would not like the creature you made if you asked me to agree to that.”
“The atrocities you would commit in my name, and for your grief, would make Seeker’s pale,” the Progenitor said readily. “I already have such tools.”
“What will you do with him?”
“Mold him,” said the Progenitor. “He is a child, and so very unlike you. You think everyone contains a demon, and contains good. He thinks everyone contains good first, then the demon. I can work with that until he becomes unrecognizable.”
“Your name?”
“I am what you scream for in a parched desert,” said the Progenitor. “I am Water.”
Tek dropped out of the chair, onto his knees, as the seating and the table disappeared, and the gray void all around swirled like the gray goo it was perhaps always meant to ape. He pounded a fist to the floor, meaning every centimeter of his submission, because if he did not, it would all be for nothing, and he would not allow that. If being the slave of a Progenitor meant he would get to see the stars, see relics of the Union, and have a chance to learn all else that there was, as well as give the opportunity for millions of others from his planet to do the same…
“I give myself to you in my entirety,” said Tek, staring at the ground that was not ground, because it was squirming and wriggling with myriads different shapes, maybe the figures of those who had died in the gray goo, who he had condemned to stay buried. He felt himself spin and churn until he knew not what direction down was, or how much of his posture was a metaphor, or a mentalism, or real, but still he radiated servitude.
“I am the cup that brings your fraction to others’ lips,” said Tek. “I am the riverbed that lays down and allows your will to flow. I am the rainseeder that helps make a maelstrom, and, barring that, I am the elder with magic both false and strong, who hears your will and binds the masses to it. I ask no one to forgive me, least of all my brother, and not even the enemies I will tear down in my anxiousness to replace Seeker. I will use my position to make what good I can, ever hoping I make more than if I had chosen the opposite path, but I will be your hand knowing the decision is irrevocable. I will fight for your scraps as eagerly as I will fight to execute your whims, and you will discover you never had a better dog. Water. My sovereign. My unmatchable elder. My emperor.”
Go, said Water, and Tek felt himself being flung back to the bridge of Liberty’s Call. Third test. Fix me a palace.
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***
I also have a fantasy web serial called Dynasty's Ghost, where a sheltered princess and an arrogant swordsman must escape the unraveling of an empire. If you like very short microfiction, you can try my Twitter @ThisStoryNow.
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The Complete NERF Blaster MOSFET Wiring Tutorial for Beginners and Pros

It’s time for an easy MOSFET wiring guide. There haven’t been too many, so I’ll add mine to the list. I’ve mainly seen the use of high-amperage micro-switches in this community, but as tech in blasters (microcontrollers, brushless motors) continues to expand and the motor-arms-race delivering new, high-draw motors to the scene, it’s time for another MOSFET guide without confusing the beginners while at the same time, enlightening the experienced modders.
This guide will be super in-depth, and will hopefully cover a ton content so you could start it off as a beginner, and come back to it as a pro, and learn something every time. No prerequisites required - just a basic understanding of electricity! For the more advanced and technical parts, a high-school level understanding of physics and chemistry may be required. Read what you understand, and skip what you don't. There will be some parts which will be intimidating to beginners, but that’s the point! There’s always something new to learn in electronics, whether that be more electronics, physics, or microcontrollers.
MOSFET
Check this guide out on my site: https://suild.com/docs/0

First off, what is a MOSFET?

A MOSFET is a type of transistor. A transistor is a switch relying on an electrical signal to allow current to flow, rather than a physical movement like a switch.
I know the first time someone told me that, I got super confused. Immediately below is a beginner friendly description of a transistor, and a the further down you go, the more technical it will get. If you understand above, that’s all you need to know about a MOSFETS’s functionality. Feel free to read more below, or skip to the next section: CTRL + F - “MOSFET PINOUT”.
Let’s take a look an an example of a switch. For this example, a light switch. In its resting state, electricity will not flow - the light bulb is not on. But when you flick the switch, the light turns on - electricity is flowing. Notice how it relies on manual mechanical energy, your finger pressing on it, for the current to flow. Whats often happening in these switches is the movement of a metal piece which touches different metal things for electricity to flow as desired.
Here’s a good example of what’s happening
Now that you know how a switch works completely, let’s look at a transistor now. Remember, a MOSFET is a type of transistor, so they work exactly the same. If you didn’t already know, transistors are one of the most amazing inventions ever, on-par with fire and the wheel (not joking!). Everything computedigital = transistors. They revolutionized computing technology, and all of our computers (laptops, phones, microcontrollers, watches, calculators) are based on transistor architecture. In your Intel Core i7 processor, there are over fourteen billion transistors! For comparison, the earth is only about 25,000 miles in circumference. In your phones, transistors can be as small as seven nanometers, and the smallest ones invented are around one nanometer. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter, so transistors have gotten down to the size of a few atoms across now.
Okay, enough lecture on how amazing transistors are (hint: they’re really amazing!). Let’s see how they work. Remember how a switch relies on a manual input to control the electrical behavior? Well, a transistor uses electrical input to control the electrical behavior.
Here’s a picture of a transistor
Imagine a switch which has two pins. The two pins will conduct electricity when the switch is pressed, and will not conduct electricity when the switch is not pressed. Observe the above picture of a transistor, and notice how it has three pins. Two of the pins will allow for electricity to conduct when the other pin is fed electricity. We’ll call this “other pin” the signal pin, since it acts as a signal which signals when the other two pin should conduct electricity.
So transistors are like switches, but they’re awesomer. They can be MUCH smaller and MUCH faster.
Tl;dr Transistors are like switches, but are awesomer since they rely on an electrical input, rather than manual input like a switch.
Now that you know how a transistor works, it would be extremely helpful to understand the pins as well

MOSFET Pinout

A MOSFET is a transistor, and a transistor has three pins. Therefore, a MOSFET has three pins.
MOSFET Pinout
Take a look at that picture. The pins are labeled:
“Two of the pins will allow for electricity to conduct when the other pin is fed electricity” is the same as “The Drain and Source will conduct electricity when the Get gets fed electricity.
You can think of the gate that acts like a gate. When the gate is open (it gets fed electricity), electricity can flow through the MOSFET.
You don’t really need to remember these fancy names, but they will be Extremely helpful for the rest of this write-up. Don't fuss too much over remembering them, the concept is much more important. The more you are exposed to the words in context, the better and faster you will understand them. Hopefully I use them enough in this write-up that you’ll know them front-and-back by the end of this.
And that’s all it is for understanding MOSFETs! I hope you completely understand how they work, and the pins. It gets a bit more technical from here on about MOSFETs, so feel free to read through it or skip to the next section: CTRL + F - “Why Should I Even Use a MOSFET?”.

More technical discussion starts here.

There are two different types of MOSFETs, an “N-Channel MOSFET” and a “P-Channel MOSFET”. You can think of it like this: an N-channel MOSFET connects negative of the battery to negative of the load, and a P-channel MOSFET connects the positive of the battery to the positive of the load. Since the N-channel MOSFET connects the negatives, we call it “Low-side switching”, and the P-channel MOSFET as “High-side switching”. If you’re more familiar with BJTs, a P-channel MOSFET would be equivalent to a PNP BJT, and an N-channel to an NPN.
Although both can be used, in this build, an N-channel MOSFET will be used. Here are some advantages of N-channel MOSFETs over P-channel ones:
MOSFET is an acronym:
Metal-Oxide Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistor
MOS, or metal-oxide semiconductor, describes the chemical properties of the semiconductive materials which makes the MOSFET work. Recall from the media and chemistry class that a semiconductor includes elements such as Silicon and Germanium. Many transistors rely on Silicon chemistry, with special enhancement substances injected, or ‘doped’, for enhanced performance.
This metal-oxide layer insulates the input voltage from the output current as well, so the input voltage interacts with the output current through electromagnetic fields, as described below.
FET, or field-effect transistor, describes the type of transistor. A more ‘traditional’ transistor, such as a BJT, works using current, assuming the threshold voltage has been exceeded, to determine its conductive behavior, as the current flowing through the base directly interacts with the current flowing through the collector and emitter. While a BJT’s conducive behavior is more reliant on current, a FET’s conductive behavior is more reliant on voltage.
FETs work on electric fields, as described in the name. When an electric potential difference between the gate and source is observed, an electric field is created. Since we are using an enhancement mode FET, rather than a depletion mode FET, pulling the gate-source voltage (Vgs) to high will turn the FET on, so current can flow through the drain and source. The strength of the electric field formed is proportional to Vgs, and the stronger the electric field, the lower the internal resistance of the device. Therefore, a input higher voltage will result in better current flow of the device.
Remember, more internal resistance, or resistance between the drain and source (Rds) means the less energy goes to your load, so a decrease in efficiency. A higher resistance will also result in more heat generation, and more heat is often not a good thing. A higher junction temperature also results in a higher resistance, and this higher resistance results in more heat generation, and so on. It’s like an infinite loop. Extremely high junction temperatures (Tj) can also destroy the internal chemistry of the FET. The MOSFET linked below in the parts section can handle up to 175C, so you won’t need to worry about heat too much in your build. The chemical and electrical properties of a FET will vary a little bit based on Tj, so check your datasheets on that. If you’re reading this part, I assume you have the technical capability to be able to read data sheets. Luckily, most MOSFETs include a heat-sink integrated into the device, as well as decently high operating temperature thresholds.
Ideal Vgs for MOSFETs are between eight and twelve volts, depending on the specific model. Check the data sheets. Voltage from your LiPo battery, whether that be 2S or 3S, works perfectly fine. Depending on the particular MOSFET, Rds may be as low as a few mΩ, at an ideal state. The MOSFET linked in this write-up has an Rds of around 2mΩ.
To summarize MOSFETs:

Why Should I Even Use a MOSFET?

All this fancy talk about MOSFETs, and I didn’t even explain what’s so good about them.
When we modify blasters, we often do a few things:
  • Battery replacement with LiPos
  • Motor replacement
  • Rewire with 16 AWG or 18 AWG wiring
  • Switch replacement
One of the above modifications results in or is a result of the avalanching modification requirements. Motor replacement calls for a higher ability of discharge from a battery = battery replacement. Battery replacement = higher current = rewire + switch replacement.
Let’s take a look at the few options we have for controlling our high-amperage circuits:
  • High-amperage microswitches
  • Relays
  • MOSFETs

High-amperage Microswitches

Top of the line motors, at the moment, may draw close to 50A at stall. The highest rated microswitches in in the community I’ve seen are 21A microswitches. 50A > 21A. But high end motors only draw 50A for a fraction of a second, so the switches should be safe, right? For now. I’ve never heard of anyone damaging a 21A switch from high-draw motors anyways.
But in the time of a motor-arms-race, more motors are being release, and these motors are getting more powerful. This means higher current draw. Soon, even our 21A switches won’t be able to keep up with all these motors. But MOSFETs will. Well, they already do. They are currently used today to control high-power appliances, including street lights and airplanes.
High-amperage switches don’t fit directly into blasters. You’ll need to dremel out a lot of the stock switch mounting area, orient the switch correctly, and then adhere it into place. You also have possibly 100A of current running through your grip, millimeters away from your hand. That doesn't sound safe.
Tl;dr Requires shell modifications, not future-proof

Relays

This is a relay
Although I haven’t personally seen the use of relays too much in builds, they are another basic option to control high-draw motors. They are also quite advantageous over high-amperage microswitches.
Relays are literally switches controlled by a magnet. But that magnet, known as an electromagnet, can be turned on and off. So there is a physical moving part which toggles position based on whether the electromagnet is on or not. A low power signal controlling the electromagnet will determine whether current can flow, similar to a transistoMOSFET.
Relays can be advantageous over high-amperage microswitches since shell modification may not be necessary. The stock NERF switch may be used as a ‘signal’ to control electricity flow through the relay.
Although relays are reign supreme over high-amperage switches in terms of shell modifications, they fall short in the same ways. Some of the highest-power relays, automotive relays (yep, the stuff used in cars), can get quite expensive and are rated for only 30A - 40A.

Here’s why MOSFETs are better

  • Zero shell modification. Can be wired to rest in any part of the shell.
  • Can handle higher current (the one I’ve linked can handle up to 343A under the right circumstances)
  • Cost. I see high-amperage switches costing around $5, and around the same for high-amperage relays. A MOSFET fulfilling all the needs of the highest-end blaster can cost around $3, and you could get away with some MOSFETs costing under $1, depending on your setup.
  • A lot faster. After all, transistors are used in your 3GHz computers. (will be further explained in technical section below)
  • You sound more pro: “Yeah, in my Rapidstrike, I’m running an IRLB3034PbF N-channel low-side switching HEXFET power MOSFET controlling the flywheels, and an IRFZ44N N-channel low-side switching HEXFET power MOSFET controlling the flywheels. Both are hooked up to a 10 kilo-ohm quarter-watt pulldown resistor to combat electrostatic interference, and a 1N5408 flyback rectifier diode to suppress transient voltage spikes resulting from the collapsing electromagnetic field of the motor’s coil” vs “I’m running a 21A microswitch. I like how it’s super clicky click click click”.
  • Afterburners. You don't want six motors worth of current running through your wimpy microswitch.
Cons of MOSFET: May be electrically complex for beginners. This write-up changes that, so there is no excuse not to use MOSFETs.
Tl;dr MOSFETs are better.
Now that you know why MOSFETs are objectively superior, feel free to go onto the technical part where. If not, skip ahead to the next section: CTRL + F - “How it all Works - Putting all the Concepts Together”

Technical Discussion Starts Here

I’ll be going over pulse-width-modulation (PWM) here, and specifically, its relevance to tech in blasters. When I say tech in blasters, I don’t mean 3D printed components or wiring looms, I mean programmed microcontrollers, such as in Eli Wu’s builds, Project FDL, Ammo Counters by AmmoCounter.com, and my upcoming Smart Blaster kits.
So what is PWM? Other than sounding super fancy, it’s also super useful. First, I need to discuss the difference between digital and analog components.
What does it mean, digital? Well, I’m sure we’ve all heard of it, “The digital age” and stuff like that. Digital often induces imagery of computers, and binary, 1’s and 0’s. That’s exactly what digital describes, binary. Digital means involving only two values. For example, your light would be digital, since it only has two values, ON and OFF, or the status of your phone power being at 100% battery, TRUE, or FALSE. Your phone is either at 100% battery, or it’s not at 100% battery. Tying this to computers, remember how computers only “see” in binary, 1, and 0: 101010001001. Binary only has two values, 1, and 0, therefore, it is called a digital value.
What about analog? While digital pertains to states which only have two values, analog pertains to states which may have more than one value. For example, the temperature. There are many different values the weather can be, 78F, 92F, or even 23F. Those are only three, but there are an unlimited number of different temperatures (mathematically, not physically) possible when we include decimals. Another example would be the speed of your car. It could be going at 60mph, or 61mph, or 73mph, or 5mph.
Tl;dr Digital = only two values (light - ON or OFF), analog = more than two values (speed - 60mph, 25mph, 3mph, etc.)
Now, what about our motors in our blasters? What would best describe their output state - analog, or digital? Well, in our blasters, they really only have two states, ON, or OFF. But motors, like a car, can be analog. They can be off, on, in the middle, and anything in between.
So we know it is physically possible to control the speed of our blaster’s motors. This yields us a variable control of dart velocity, power consumption, and rate of fire (Hint Hint an upcoming Smart Blaster kit). If we want our darts traveling at 130fps instead of the maximum 150fps for confusion tactics against our enemies, we can crank down on speed of the motors a bit. If we want to shoot our Rapidstrike a bit slower in terms of darts/sec, to conserve ammo without burst-fire (Hint Hint another upcoming Smart Blaster kit) then we could slow down the pusher motor a bit. And we can control these speeds using a microcontroller.
A microcontroller is just like a computer, but quite a lot smaller than your laptops. They're also mounted on ICs. Some examples include an Atmega328 and a TI MSP430G2452IN20, but NOT a Raspberry Pi. A Raspberry Pi as a microprocessor. An Atmega328 and a TI MSP430G2452IN20are NOT microprocessors. An Arduino and a Teensy is NOT a microcontroller or a microprocessor, it simply houses a microcontroller. DON’T call an Arduino a microprocessor, because it’s not. Call it a microcontroller, since it’s basically a shell for one. I’m super anal about these terms but I don't know why lol.
But explained above is how computers are digital, and motor speed is analog. Analog != digital, so how do we do this? Well, there’s this fancy thing called PWM. It’s basically just returning an analog output, such as motor velocity, from a digital device, such as a computemicrocontroller. It works by toggling output power super super fast, sometimes many kHz, depending on the device outputting the power.
Let’s say we have a 10W power source. We’re only talking about power here, but remember Power = Voltage * Current, Watts= Volts * Amps. PWM controls power. And a circuit that looks like this. Notice how the power source goes through a PWM device, and the PWM device then outputs to a motor. The PWM device is a digital device.
PWM Circuit
If we leave the PWM device at high the entire time, then the output will be at 10W. If we leave the PWM device at low the entire time, then the output will be at 0W. If we toggle power (power ON and OFF, a digital value, compatible with the computer) in the PWM device so fast that on average, 50% of the time, the power is high (10W), and the rest 50% of the time, the power is low (0W) it will average out at 5W, so the output will be 5W. Now, what if we toggle the PWM so fast that on average, 70% of the time, the power is high, and 30% of the time, the power is low?
It will average out at 7W, so the output will be 7W.
Notice how I’m getting an analog value (10W, 0W, 5W, 7W, and anything in between) out of a digital device (PWM device). Now, we can replace the PWM device with something like an Arduino, and accomplish the same thing.
I won’t be going over too much how PWM works, but I hope you understand the basics. Now let’s tie this back into MOSFETs.
Recall how power must be toggled in the PWM device “super super” fast. When working with Arduino, this will be around 600 Hz, or 600 times a second. With dedicated PWM devices, this can get up into the Kilohertz, or even Megahertz. Can you move your finger on the trigger that fast? If you could, then theoretically, you would be able to achieve PWM with your hands. Unfortunately, the switch can’t. Even with a relay, PWM can’t be practically achieved. Relays take about 20 milliseconds to change state, so only about 50 Hz. Not even close to fast enough. So we need to switch from electromechanical to electrochemical.
Here’s where the MOSFET comes into play. Remember how the MOSFET is a transistor, and transistors are in computers. Consumer computers can clock as fast as a a few Gigahertz, or a few billion times per second. Yep, that’s how fast transistors are. So MOSFETs are more than suitable, because of their speed, for variable motor control.
Tl;dr MOSFETs are so fast you can do analog outputs with them.

How it all Works - Putting all the Concepts Together

Almost time for wiring! I truly believe the concepts behind how this build works is much more important than how to assemble it. A robot can assemble this, but can’t understand the concepts. You can do both.
Let’s combine all the concepts of the transistor, MOSFET, and MOSFET pinout together to create a basic operational diagram of the circuit.
First, the MOSFET needs some sort of electrical signal to turn on. This signal will come from a switch, any switch can be used, but I use the stock switch. Super little current will flow through the switch, so you won’t need a huge 21A switch. That’s what’s so great about a MOSFET setup, the stock switch can be reused, so zero shell modification is necessary.
Signal Diagram
Now, this electrical signal needs to go into the MOSFET, to the Gate pin. You can see in the diagram above that when the switch is pressed, the gate is fed electricity, so electricity can flow through the other two pins of the MOSFET, the drain and source.
Source-Drain Diagram
Now, let's look at the complete diagram. The Signal Diagram has just been expanded upon. Now, when the switch is pressed and the MOSFET allows electricity to flow through the drain and source, we see that the entire circuit is complete! Positive of the battery goes into the load, and the load is connected to ground/negative. A full circuit!
It’s about to get a bit technical here. I’ll go over the functionality of a the resistor and diode, it’s pretty complex stuff. You know the drill to skip: “Parts and Tools Required” This will be the last technical section.

Technical Discussion Starts Here

I will discuss two components here, why they’re needed: the resistor, and the diode. The diode is much more complicated in its functionality.
The Resistor
A Sneak Preview of Some Schematics:Schematics of Pull-Down Resistor
This resistor is known as a “pull-down” resistor, since it connects between the gate of the MOSFET and ground. When working with electronics, you will see “pull-up” and pull-down resistors a lot. pull-up/down resistors are used to ensure given no other input, a circuit assumes a default value. In the case of this build, since a pull-down resistor is being used, the default value is pulled to low. This makes sense, since when the MOSFET is off, the Vgs (input voltage, or potential difference between the gate and source), is zero.
But why would we need this pull-down resistor if no current is flowing to the gate when the switch isn't pressed? Well that’s the thing. It’s not that simple. The voltage as the gate is said to be “floating”. This means the voltage could be many different values, and that will of course mess up how the MOSFET will behave. A small input voltage, say, from the electrostatics of your finger, could be all that’s needed to turn the MOSFET on. This isn’t good, so we use the pull-down resistor to ensure that when the MOSFET is off, it’s off for good.
The Diode
A Sneak Preview of Some Schematics: Schematics of Flyback Diode
This diode is known as a “flyback diode”
Motors are extremely interesting works of techonology. Simply put, it’s a converter between mechanical energy and electrical energy, and it can work in both directions: as a generator, and as a motor. When the motors act as a generator, a voltage in the reverse direction is formed. Voltage is the force driving the current, so we also call it electromotive force, or EMF. Because the voltage is in the reverse direction, we call it counter-EMF or back EMF (BEMF).
Okay, let’s go over that again.
  • Voltage = electromotive force = EMF
  • A motor may also act as a generator.
  • When a motor acts as a generator, it will generate a voltage in the reverse direction of current flow.
  • This voltage in the reverse direction has a special name: counter EMF or back EMF (BEMF)
So when does the motor act as a generator? Well, in real-world applications, this is used in power plants, both nuclear, coal, and natural gas. They’re all taking some sort of mechanical energy, and converting it to electrical energy.
Remember! A motor and generator are the same. The only difference is the direction of the conversion of energy.
In media, we’ve seen someone pedaling on a stationary bicycle to power a light bulb. This is a generatomotor. A generatomotor apparatus is attached to the bike in a way so when the pedal is turned, it turns the shaft of the motogenerator. It’s converting mechanical energy (the biker moving his legs to pedal the pedals) into electrical energy (to power the light bulb). If I were to power the same generatomotor apparatus using a battery, the pedals will actually turn. In this case, I’m turning the motogenerator apparatus into a motor: a converter between electrical energy (stored in the battery) into mechanical energy (to move the pedals).
So in a blaster, power from the battery is going to the motors when the rev trigger is pressed. The motor is acting like a motor, converting electrical energy to mechanical energy. When the rev trigger isn’t pressed, the power from the battery is cut off, so no more power from the battery is going into the motor. But, the we observe the motor is still spinning. It may not be spinning as fast as when the rev trigger was being pressed, but the motors are still spinning. And what happens to a motor when it’s spinning, but not powered? It’s a generator. The motor is converting the mechanical energy (flywheels spinning) into electrical energy. We can harness this energy to charge our batteries (this is how some vehicles like the Toyota Prius work), but a more complex circuit will be necessary, and it won’t be too effective. Also recall that the energy being generated is BEMF.
The concept of a motogenerator is very important to describe the functionality of the flyback diode.
This is a Diode
Notice how the anode, or positive part, of the diode is connected to Vcc. This is so current doesn’t flow through the diode when the motor is on. But, when the motor is powered off, a BEMF is created. Now what was previously the negative of the motor becomes the positive of the power source, since it’s acting as a generator and the EMF created is in the opposite direction, hence BEMF. Now, the negative of the motogenerator is connected to the cathode, or negative part, of the diode, and the positive is connected to the anode. Current can now flow through the diode, but only when the motogenerator is generating BEMF. That’s why the orientation of the diode matters.
Now this is where many people get confused, myself previously included. They think that this BEMF may produce high spikes in voltage, which may damage the MOSFET. So, a flyback diode is required to take care of those high spikes in voltage. This is not entirely correct.
To debunk this theory, we need to remember that the BEMF ONLY from the motor turning into a generator generating voltage from the flywheel’s inertia will never exceed the battery voltage. The voltage generated only by the freewheeling of a motor will not exceed that of the supply.
But, the BEMF consists of two components: freewheeling voltage, and flyback voltage. The flyback voltage is what can damage the MOSFET, since they can be extremely high and unpredictable.
The source of this flyback voltage results from the functionality of the motor. Motors use coils. If you’ve ever opened one up, accidentally or purposely, you'll see coils. Some motors have permanent magnets, and others have electromagnets, which means more coils. When current passes through coils, it creates a magnetic field. This is called induction, as described in Faraday’s law. Okay, induction, no big deal. It’s just how a motor operates. When the circuit is open, no more magnetic field is being induced, since the flow of current has stopped. But a magnetic field already exists from the previous flow of current, and according to the first law of Thermodynamics, energy cannot be created or destroyed. This energy in the field can’t be destroyed, so it needs to go somewhere, so it goes back into the coil. This collapsing magnetic field feeds back into the coil, or inductor, and it become the source in the circuit. This “inductive spike” can generate high voltages, and this high voltage is what we protect our MOSFET from using a flyback diode.
Yum physics!
Tl;dr Resistor to ensure that when the MOSFET should be off, it is off. Diode to protect MOSFET from high voltages from the motor

Parts and Tools Required

This is already page 16 on the Google Docs, and I just rambled about MOSFETs that entire time. Let’s get started with some legit write-up. Here are the parts required. Don't skip out on any part just because you don’t know what it does, because you’ll blow stuff up.
  • 1x MOSFET. I recommend a IRLB3034PBF as an all-purpose MOSFET which will work for any motor setup. You could also get away with a IRFZ44N as with a lower-draw setup. (IRFZ44N also available on Amazon through Prime, but may come in higher quantities) - $3 for an IRLB3034PBF
  • 10kΩ (10,000Ω) resistor. Can be higher, like a 15kΩ, or 47kΩ. Digi-Key Link (Also available on Amazon through Prime, but may come in a kit of many different values) - $0.10 for one ($0.40 for ten, super bulk discounts)
  • 1N540x Rectifier Diode (0 < x <= 8; x = 8 is “strongest” and costs the same prices as 0 < x <= 7) Digi-Key Link (Also available on Amazon through Prime, but may come in a kit of many different values) ($0.25 for one, also offers bulk discounts)
  • Wire 16 AWG - 18 AWG for motors, literally any wire (stock NERF wire will work) for MOSFET signal. (you should already have this, if not $0.50)
  • Heat shrink tubing. MOSFET pins are super close together, you don’t want to short anything out. (you should already have this, if not $0.50)
  • Stock NERF microswitch (come in your blaster, you can recycle it - FREE)
Total cost: $4.35

Tools

  • Wiring tools: Soldering Iron + solder, all that good stuff
  • I Highly recommend a multimeter for testing and debugging as well as a solder sucker for any mistakes on the tiny pins of the MOSFET. A cheap multimeter can be found for around $20, and a cheap soldersucker can cost around $1 from China. These are not required.
I recommend buying all electronics from Digi-Key. They are a trustworthy electronics distributor, I’ve been shopping with them for years, and you won’t run into any knock-offs exploding in your face. Also offer great selection and prices.
Buy from China only if you know what you’re doing. You’ll save some money when buying from China, but of course it will take longer. I’ve bought thousands of electronics from China, just make sure to read datasheets and product descriptions.
Also note how many of the electronics come in kits with many different values, and a decent quantity of each value. I would recommend purchasing these kits if you plan on continuing to get more in depth into electronics, as these are basic parts which will be used throughout electronics.

Wiring

Okay, here comes the fun part! A basic understanding of how the circuit works is greatly beneficial when it comes to wiring. Please look it over so you don’t explode any MOSFETs.
Here are some wiring diagrams to wire everything together properly, once you’ve gathered all the required tools and parts.
Tips:
  • Remember to wire your diode in correctly! You’ll know it’s facing the wrong way or wired incorrectly if the motors aren’t spinning when the rev trigger is pressed, and/or if the diode gets warm.
  • MOSFET shouldn’t get hot when testing. If it does, double check your wiring.
  • If the MOSFET legs are too close together to solder, feel free to bend the legs. You may also bend the legs back when you’re done. They’re easier to bend up/down than left/right. When I was first starting out, I bent the legs like this: http://i.imgur.com/B2bCHLW.jpg
  • Tin the legs of the MOSFET before soldering. It makes life so much easier.
  • Feel free to cut the pins of the MOSFET as well. Just make sure there’s still enough to solder onto them.
  • Since the resistor’s legs are so long, I like to wire it on my MOSFET like this: (Step 1) (Step 2) (STEP 3) . Notice how the legs of the resistors wrap around the MOSFET’s pins.
  • When using fatter wire, it may get tricky to solder them onto the pins. I recommending physically connecting the wires in relation to the pins. For example, the right pin would have the wire soldered to the right edge of the pin, and the left pin would have the wire soldered onto the left edge o the pin. You don't need to solder all of the wires directly on top of each pin.
  • Heat shrink all connections!
  • Test with a few AAs first. Sometimes, two or three might not be enough. You might need a few more. Don't damage your LiPo.
Close up your blaster and

You’re all done!

Final Notes

Whoo! Finally done. It sure took me a long time to make this, and I hope it takes you a long time to read and understand the concepts here. If I have made any mistakes in terminology or concepts, or you need something clarified, please do notify me! as I am still learning.

Useful Links

Video Tutorial: One day
Imgur Album with all the images: http://imgur.com/a/F82Gk
A Google Doc of this: https://goo.gl/8rX1dB
Read this on my website: http://suild.com/docs/0
MOSFET Boards: https://suild.com/shop/0
To learn more cool stuff, check these out. No Wikipedia links since my school says they’re evil and because they can oftentimes be too technical for beginners, and it’s usually the first search result:
What is a MOSFET?
How does a MOSFET work? (Title says Transistor, but video describes a MOSFET)
Controlling High-Current Loads
BJT vs. MOSFET
P-Channel vs N-Channel MOSFET
PWM
Arduino vs. Microcontroller vs. Microprocsessor
Pull-Up and Pull-Down Resistors
Flyback Diode
BEMF
More on BEMF
BEMF vs Flyback Voltage
If there are any topics you want covered in-depth by a tutorial like this, leave a comment on it! I do mainly electronics and coding, to too much hardware stuff. Here are some future tutorials I have in mind:
  • Select-fire (toggling fire modes with a joystick lol)
  • Motor braking
  • Tachometer (this will be pretty complicated, using concepts discussed in the flyback diode portion. Will require math.)
They will probably be write-ups such as this one, since my video production quality sucks :P
It took a good amount of time to make this twenty-two-page long document on Google Docs, so any feedback - on content, writing style, diagrams, etc. - would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much for reading this much!
EDIT: Formatting, links, Google Doc link, link to website
submitted by MingBatt to Nerf [link] [comments]

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maintain access to, IT systems, including groups and techniques so dangerous
they have their own category - the Advanced Persistent Threat (APT). At the
center of the APT are sophisticated techniques using malware to exploit vulnerabilities in systems. Traditional cyber security technologies use file signatures to locate these tools and hacker malware, but hackers are now actively camouflaging their tools by changing, customizing, and “morphing” them into new files that do not match any known signatures (‘Polymorphic Malware’). This introduces a massive gap in malicious file detection which leaves the enterprise open to exploitation — and it’s just not possible for traditional signature-based systems to keep up. In fact, signature-based anti-virus and anti-malware systems are only around 25% effective today. BlindSpot™ sees through it all, even as the files morph and change in a futile attempt to remain camouflaged.
Digital File Fingerprints
Any File Type, Any Language, Partial Matches, Exact Matches
BlindSpot™, the adaptive security solution from BlindSpot™, can see through the
Polymorphic camouflage used by the worlds most advanced hackers by utilizing
digital file fingerprints and our proprietary adaptive BlindSpot™ ‘brain’ that constantly analyzes the fingerprints of known malicious files and tools to locate partial matches within the files on your systems - servers, laptops, desktops, USB drives, and even mobile devices. BlindSpot™ can cut right through the Polymorphic files, revealing the true hacking tools underneath, even if they are only fragments or pieces of a more complete set of hacking tools and technologies.
Most cyber attacks happen weeks or even months after their initial penetration and access to a network or system, and even the simplest attacks tend to have a fuse that is typically several days. It takes them time to map out a system, probe for the information they want, and obtain or forge credentials with the type of access they need. But from the moment their tools first land on your network and systems, BlindSpot™ sees them. If fact, BlindSpot™ can see them sitting on a newly inserted USB drive even if the files are not copied to your systems. This means BlindSpot™ can identify and alert you to malicious files and potential illicit activities before the attack happens - before zero day!
How does BlindSpot™ work? BlindSpot™ sits on the endpoint and continuously monitors file activity. Digital fingerprints, which can be used to find partial matches of any file type in any language, are reported back where they are kept forever in a temporal repository.
BlindSpot™ looks through all of the digital fingerprints — both those from files on your systems and those in a constantly updated database of known malicious files and hacking tools, to locate and alert you to any indication of hacking, malicious files, or illicit activity. BlindSpot™ is a disruptive technology that can see polymorphic malware and stop attacks before zero day.
Digital File Fingerprints are created from a file or a piece of digital data/information by using advanced mathematics to look at all of the small pieces of data that make up the file to create a very small, unique piece of mathematical data — a digital file fingerprint. Files may be of any file type and in any language - digital fingerprints can find partial and exact matches regardless of what is in the file itself.
Just like with humans, once a fingerprint has been taken, you no longer need the
person to identify them. The fingerprint is enough. Even a partial fingerprint is
enough, and sometimes a smudge will do. Digital fingerprints work on the same
principle. Once BlindSpot™ has taken a digital fingerprint of a file, the file is no longer needed to identify it or to compare it with other files. And because digital fingerprints are tiny, they are easy to store. Even a multi-gigabyte file has a digital fingerprint that is no larger than 10k bytes.
Once you have two sets of digital fingerprints, you can compare them. Because BlindSpot™ starts with full fingerprints of known malicious files, it can identify matching files even when the digital fingerprint is only partially there. And with BlindSpot™’s advanced processing capabilities, file fragments, recovered data from a hard drive, partially downloaded documents, damaged files (both intentional and accidental) and other incomplete file structures can be properly fingerprinted in a way that still allows matches to be found.
Other technologies and software use static signatures, which do not work if any part of a file, regardless of how small, is different from another, or if the file is damaged in any way. BlindSpot™ and digital fingerprints enable partial matching, and can see through the camouflage that has become the industry standard for hackers across the globe. Static signature based solutions simply cannot do this.
Imagine your favorite detective drama on TV. The prosecutor says “This partial
fingerprint was found at the crime scene and the video camera across the
street recorded a perfect image of the person’s face.” The jury deliberates and
compares the picture and fingerprints of the defendant that were taken the day
before. They conclude, because the fingerprint was not all there and was not 100% identical, and because one picture showed a mustache that looked identical but was one millimeter longer than the other picture, that the two people were not identical - and set the criminal free. Well, that show wouldn’t be on TV long because crime would run rampant. Now imagine they had BlindSpot™. Criminals would be caught, the town would be a much safer place, and the show would be on for years to come.
Now imagine your network and systems without BlindSpot™, where traditional
exact match signature software is on your front line of defense. All kinds of
malicious files could walk right through and sit down on your hard drives, just
waiting for hackers to activate them. But you don’t have to imagine what your
systems would be like with BlindSpot™ — instead, simply contact us, get BlindSpot™ in place, and we’ll work with you to show you what’s really on your systems and help you keep those systems safe.
Ensuring System Compliance
Take the guesswork out of compliance assessment
All Government systems go through Certification and Accreditation. BlindSpot™ can help you with malicious code protection, for both security considerations and required compliance. Guidelines found in NIST 800-53 Revisions 3+ Security Requirements for System Integrity, SI-3 Malicious Code Protection, state that malicious code protection mechanisms must be employed at information system entry and exit points, including workstations, notebook computers, and mobile devices, to detect and eradicate malicious code.
BlindSpot™, with its continuous monitoring of the files on your endpoints and its
continuous updating of its known malicious file repository, will provide the
required real-time and full monthly re-scans of your files, will alert your
administrative staff when malicious code is found, will provide reports on
potential malicious files, illicit activity, and follow-up with very short false positive reports. BlindSpot™’s false positive rate is less than 0.01%. BlindSpot™ helps organizations meet the security requirements set forth and ensure compliance.
Intellectual Property Protection
Track sensitive information as it changes and moves around the enterprise
BlindSpot™ uses digital file fingerprints to identify partial and exact matches between files, regardless of file type or language. This ability can be used to track movements of and changes to files on a network of computers.
Government entities and corporations need to addresses the issue of monitoring
documents and files that contain sensitive information intellectual property, and it
is no longer sufficient to simply store them on a secure server and require specific credentials to access the information. People, both unintentionally and sometimes with malicious intent, copy and paste parts of documents, move files to USB drives, and otherwise edit and transfer files in order to get them on to a laptop, share them with a co-worker, or exfiltrate confidential information to outside networks and systems. BlindSpot™ carefully watches all of the files on your network, including what’s going with USB drives. If someone copies part of a file that has sensitive data to another file, BlindSpot™ sees it. Furthermore, BlindSpot™ can alert you when it sees questionable activity with certain documents/files or with specific computers/individuals.
Your sensitive files now have a watchdog that catches both unintentional and
malicious exposure to non-secure systems. Use BlindSpot™ to set up a custom
database of the locations where your sensitive files are stored, and BlindSpot™ will create a set of digital file fingerprints that can be used to track those files across your network and systems. This ensures that an organization can know where its proprietary and sensitive information is 365/7/24, in real-time.
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Systems
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) is a system for remote monitoring and control that operates with coded signals over communication channels (using typically one communication channel per remote station).
SCADA networks contain computers and applications that perform key functions in providing essential services and commodities (e.g. electricity, natural gas, gasoline, water, waste treatment, transportation) to all Americans. They are part of the nation’s critical infrastructure, provide great efficiency, are widely used, and require protection from a variety of cyber threats.
One of the most significant threats is benign files residing on the computers on
the network that morph into tools that hackers can use to gain access to the
network and the equipment it monitors and/or controls. These files might be part
of the operating system (binary files), might be a normal file that includes
scripting, or can even be a general data file moved onto the computer through a
network or a USB drive. By morphing, these files circumvent detection and
countermeasures. This is just one example of how a hacker can compromise and
exploit the system and the worst part is that you will never know until it is too late!
The recent Department of Justice announcement charging Iranian hackers
believed to be tied to the 2013 hacking of a New York dam illustrates this threat
clearly.
Enter BlindSpot™’s BlindSpot™ Adaptive Security — BlindSpot™ monitors all files of all types (any format or language) without the requirement of a translator or human operator. BlindSpot™ can see right through the hacker’s camouflage of
morphing files to quickly identify problems and threats before hackers have the
opportunity to active and use their tools. For U.S. and foreign based systems,
BlindSpot™ is a must have cyber security solution.
The BlindSpot™ team has extensive experience with SCADA systems and critical infrastructure. Our BlindSpot™ solution is critical to the overall security framework of such systems as it was designed to find the morphing, malicious files and associated illicit file activity that can lead to compromise of the integrity, confidentiality and/or availability of the system. Threats loom on both the inside and outside, and the dynamic nature of these systems require continuous, temporal monitoring to stop cyber attacks before they happen.
Stop Ransomware
Identify and remove Ransomware before it encrypts your files
Ransomware attacks are on the rise and affect Fortune 500 companies, Federal
organizations, and consumers. This vicious type of attack affects your user’s ability to get their work done and prevents users from accessing files on a device or network by making the device or network unusable, by encrypting the files your users need to access, and/or by stopping certain applications from running (e.g. the web browser). A ransom is then demanded (an electronic payment of currency or bitcoins) with the promise that your data will be unencrypted and accessible again following the payment.
If the ransom payment is made, there is no guarantee that the data will be
unencrypted or returned to a state of integrity and/or availability. Furthermore,
there is also no guarantee that the people behind the ransom will not re-infect
your systems again with a variant of what was initially used. Payment encourages future attacks because they know you cannot detect it and will pay again next time. Surprisingly, there are only a handful of known ransomware files in use today (e.g. Crowti, Fakebsod). Safeguards exist that use static signatures to find exact matches for these known files, but the moment these files morph or are changed in any way they become undetectable by these solutions. BlindSpot™ digs deeper with digital file fingerprints and can find the new files, enabling you to analyze, quarantine, or delete them before they activate. This pro-active approach can be the difference between a system being protected and a system being made completely unavailable with encrypted data being held hostage for a ransom. The image below is an actual Fakebsod notification message.
BlindSpot™ uses digital file fingerprints to detect the ransomware by looking at
both partial and exact matches and can report the problem before it happens.
Ransomeware of the past attacked your personal computer and today’s variant
attacks the servers — BlindSpot™ can detect both.
Case Study: March 2016 - Two more healthcare networks are hit by ransomware targeting servers. Advice from law enforcement — pay the ransom! (They did). File backups are insufficient. Paying ransoms is costly and only encourages repeat attacks.
BlindSpot™ is the most comprehensive solution available to detect and root out
ransomware. Take charge of the situation and put BlindSpot™ to work continuously monitoring your systems.
Get BlindSpot™ Now
Commercial or Government, with multiple contract vehicles available
How Can I Get BlindSpot™?
CYBR develops and sells its adaptive enterprise cyber security software product, BlindSpot™, and provides professional services and support for BlindSpot™ implementations.
Product
BlindSpot™ Adaptive Security is a continuous monitoring enterprise solution that tracks file-based activity on the endpoint using digital file fingerprints, can identify problems and cyber threats before zero day, and can see through morphing, camouflaged (polymorphic) files to make accurate determinations of malicious files and illicit activity.
Deployment Options
BlindSpot™ can deployed as a secure cloud application for maximum flexibility, a standalone Enterprise implementation for maximum security, or the two combined in an Enterprise implementation augmented through a secure cloud gateway.
Professional Services and Training
BlindSpot™’s team of cyber security experts have the expertise to support
you by creating a holistic, enterprise security framework that consists of people,
policy, procedures and technology that will ensure a security posture that implements the best risk management strategies, tactics and operations available.
Email us at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) for more information.
BlindSpot Solution Brief
June 29, 2018
POC: Shawn R. Key CEO, President
[[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
Executive Summary and Estimated Pricing
CYBR’s BlindSpot is an enterprise cyber security solution that pro-actively identifies unknown and known malicious files and circumventive activity on endpoint devices. It is designed to interact with the CYBR Ecosystem and associated Web Portal. Distributed clients serve as the connection to the various BlindSpot server tiers.
BlindSpot identifies Illicit File Activity (IFA) and associated hacker activity via perceptive, industry standard algorithms. BlindSpot identifies exact AND similar files regardless of file type and/or language. This applies to ALL file types (e.g. documents, images, audio and video, carrier, etc.). Currently implemented safeguards and counter measures (such as anti-virus (AV), content filters and malware analysis tools) cannot address polymorphic/adaptive files and emerging threats. This introduces a massive gap in illicit file detection and leaves the enterprise open to exploitation. BlindSpot fills that void.
Additionally, corporations and government entities have a need to address known files and associated activity with regards to content and data management. The uncertainty of Intellectual Property (IP) location and propagation poses significant risk to the organization. The ability to identify the life cycle of a file (origin, source, destination, attributes and proliferation) ensures an organization knows where its proprietary, sensitive and privacy information is 365/24/7, in near real-time.
BlindSpot, is significantly different from solutions in the emerging Specialized Threat Assessment and Protection (STAP) marketplace, as it scales to meet the needs of enterprise organizations and the commercial marketplace. BlindSpot’s proprietary database consists of millions of unique, digital identifiers (hash values) that identify exact AND similar, modified files. This ensures that files existing in their original state or those which have been intentionally modified, do not circumvent detection. Our algorithms ensure near zero false positive return rates. The combinatory effect and the rare expertise of our executives and development thwarts potential competition as BlindSpot is an enterprise solution; not a tool.
The enterprise solution is provide as a license per IP address with associated appliance and/or server hardware requirements.
CYBR BlindSpot Technical Deep Dive
CYBR’s BlindSpot product is currently available as a Software as a Service) (SaaS) deployment blockchain solution and will be available as a full enterprise-install by Q2 2019. In both implementations, end-point agent software monitors the hard drive(s) of a computer or server, analyses any files that change, and reports [multiple] file hashes back to the main system. This enables the main system to effectively monitor which files could be malicious or represent intellectual property on the computers and servers within the customer’s network. By using fuzzy hashing algorithms, the system can detect polymorphic malware and intellectual property that has been partially hidden or obfuscated.
Applications
End-point (client) agent: native to each major OS as a fat client. Currently we have end-point agents for Microsoft Windows-based systems using MS .NET c# 2.0/4.5 and C++, although the c# portion will be replaced with all c++ code to increase scalability, efficiency, and security, in Q1 2016. End-point agents for Mac OS (written in Objective-C) and popular Linux platforms (written in c++) will ship in Q1/Q2 2016. Development work on the CentOS linux agent will begin in December 2015.
The Control Application enables system administrators to configure each end-point agent, the system itself, and to actively monitor and access reports on files that have been identified by the system as problematic or of interest. At this time the Control Application is able to provide configuration and monitoring services but is not yet ready for customer on-site deployment and is therefore only available in a SaaS model.
The middle-tier of the system, the Portal sever, currently runs in MS .NET and is written in c#. This tier will be upgraded to a full c++ implementation to increase scalability, efficiency, and security, in Q1 2016, and will run as a standard web server extension on a Linux platform (CentOS/Apache).
The data-tier of the system currently is running in MS SQL Server 2008/2012 and uses transact-SQL tables, but does not use any stored procedures or transactions. Although this tier is sufficient for scalability through mid to late 2016, a no-SQL version of the data tier will be developed in 2016.
The Crush server (hashing services) currently runs on MS Server 2008/2012, is written in c#/c++ and is a) being ported to run as a (c++) daemon on a standard Linux (CentOS) server, and b) being re-engineered to function as a massively parallel application (c/c++) running on NVIDIA Tesla GPU accelerated systems. The Crush server communicates with the data-tier directly and the C2 server indirectly. Multiple Crush servers can run simultaneously and are horizontally scalable and fault-tolerant.
The C2 (Command and Control) server, written in c# and being moved to c++, communicates with the data-tier directly and the Crush server and Control Application indirectly to provide scheduling, system health and integrity, and prioritization services, as well redirecting jobs to maintain fault tolerance of the back-end server components. Multiple C2 servers can run simultaneously and are horizontally scalable.
Hardware and Network:
The basic architecture of the system has two different stacks of software. First, a typical 3-tier approach isolates data storage from end-point and Control Application access with a middle-man protocol altering Portal server. In the SaaS model, the end-point and Control Application software reside on-site with the customer, and the remaining stack components reside at the SaaS hosting datacenter. The second stack consists of multiple horizontally-scalable server components that run entirely in the backend as daemons and interact primarily through the data area to provide the services that are being marketed and sold to the customers. The two stacks are kept somewhat separate from each other in order to buffer one against the other in times of extreme load and for enhanced security.
Following is a description of each software module in the system and how it relates to the others:
The system has one component for data collection (the end-point agent software, which resides on the desktop computers and servers within a deployed customer site), one component for system administration (the Control Application, which resides on a desktop computer that the customer has access to or that an analyst can access through the SaaS system), and a collection of software processes/daemons and a data storage area that comprise the back-end.
The end-point agent collects data from the end-point computer, passes it to the Portal server, which in turn stores it in the data area.
The C2 server monitors the in-flow of data from the end-points, and tasks the Crush server(s) to analyze the data and compare it to databases of known good, known bad, and watch list files, in an efficient manner.
The C2 server also provides notification to the customer of any problematic or watch-list files following the completion of the Crush server tasks.
The Crush server monitors the data area, and performs batch or real-time processing of data as instructed to by the C2 server.
Technology
CYBR’s BlindSpot software is a commercially available product that combines a small footprint end-point agent with a centralized monitoring and management system to track files and file changes on the end-point using partial-match digital fingerprints rather than rigid full-match-only file signatures. As files and data buffers are created, edited/altered, and moved either through the network or via removable media devices including USB drives, the product uses its unique and proprietary technologies in combination with industry standard technologies to identify and locate both known malware and unknown [polymorphic] malware on end-points that are continuously monitored by the product. Staff is notified, depending on the urgency or type of digital fingerprint identified, through integrations with 3rd party SIEM solutions, email/SMS transmissions, and reports that are available using the central management system. A false positive rate of partial digital fingerprint matching of ~1 in 10-12 means staff will not be bombarded with unnecessary alerts, maintaining staff efficiency.
Overview: Traditional anti-malware products use static file signatures to locate known malware but have no means of detecting unknown malware, CYBR’s product uses digital file fingerprints that can identify both partial file matches as well as full file signature matches and in doing so can locate and identify both known and unknown malware within the deployed enterprise. A combination of industry standard and publicly available algorithms and CYBR’s own proprietary algorithms, trade secrets, methods, optimizations, and intellectual property for which a patent is currently pending (which is owned solely by CYBR) are combined to form a comprehensive anti-malware platform and continuous end-point monitoring product that is completely unique in the marketplace. Through the use of our proprietary algorithms and optimizations, the product has the ability to scale to the enterprise level and can track desktops/servers as well as mobile/phone/tablet/Internet of Things (IoTs) devices.
Project Implementation: The implementation of this product would include both the commercially available BlindSpot product as well as prototypes of integration packages to connect with the on-site Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) and other systems and prototypes of end-point agents running on operating systems that are not yet available in the currently available version of the product. Both the integration and end-point agent prototypes would be based on existing modular code/functionality and would extend functionality past the currently available modules to ensure the full needs and requirements of the project are met. A full version of BlindSpot would be deployed on servers at/on the enterprise site, and prototypes of both SIEM integrations and new end-point agents would be deployed to augment the full production system. Information flow between all areas of the full system and prototypes would be tested and verified with increasing scale to ensure the level of performance required is available prior to the completion of the project.
End-point Agents: Each end-point is installed with native low-profile proprietary agent software that minimizes both its file system footprint and CPU use. The current product has a native end-point available for Microsoft Windows OSs (both desktops/tablets and servers) in production, and has native end-point agents in development/prototype stage for iOS, Android, MacOS, and RHEL/CentOS, with additional popular Linux derivatives to follow. The main job of the end-point agent is to communicate with the OS and monitor the file system for any changes in files that occur. When changes are detected, a digital file fingerprint of the file is taken and reported to the centralized data store, or cached until a later time if the centralized data store is unreachable (e,g, no cell coverage, laptop not connected to internet). The agent normally runs in “stealth-mode” and uses minimal CPU, RAM, and file system footprint so as not to disrupt the end-user’s workflow or impact system performance. Taking a digital fingerprint of a file and reporting it is very fast and thus the main job of the end-point agent is not system resource intensive. The “heavy lifting” is done on the back-end and does not burden the users or the end-point devices. Configuration of each end-point agent is conducted through the centralized management system, and changes in configuration are transmitted to the end-point agent within a few seconds (provided there is network connectivity).
Central Data Store: A collection of databases on the back end store file watch lists, known good and known bad digital file fingerprints (whitelists and blacklists containing digital file fingerprints of known malware), priority lists and configurations, end-point configurations, last-seen lists, and the full temporal accounting of all digital file fingerprints reported by end-point agents. As new threats are identified they are added to the central data store. As files on end-points change or are edited, their new digital fingerprints are added to the central data store as well. As new threats are identified though polymorphic partial matching, they are added to the known bad list as well.
Identification of Known and Unknown Malware: By comparing the databases of digital file fingerprints of known malware and digital file fingerprints of files on end-points, the product’s Crush server(s) use sophisticated algorithms to compare the partial digital file fingerprints, regardless of content of the files themselves. The product looks at the raw data (bytes) in the files when creating the digital file fingerprints and as such all file types/formats/languages are handled. This means that all file types and data in any and all languages can be compared with similar files. Binary DLLs, MS Word documents and spreadsheets (MS Excel, csv, …), JPEG images, Javascript, HTML, Executable files (.exe) — all of these files are handled by the product and known/unknown malware within them can be located using the digital file fingerprints in the centralized data store and Crush server’s analysis.
Scale, System Throughput, and Priority: A single Crush server can serve a small enterprise (100s or 1,000s of end-points), and a horizontally scalable array of Crush servers can be used to provide identification of malware for large enterprises. Similarly, databases in the central data store can be split and maintained/mirrored on several servers or run in a monolithic configuration. This makes the system highly scalable and able to be adapted to enterprises of varying sizes/scales while maintaining a good price/performance ratio. Priority lists can be designated for Crush servers such that high-priority end-points and/or high-priority malware fingerprints can be compared and identified in real-time, and similarly, low-priority lists (e.g. malware fingerprints that have not been seen in months or years) can be run in the evenings or when the system is running below normal load to ensure both immediate analysis of high-priority threats and comprehensive analysis of low-priority threats.
Integration: Several modular integration points within the product enable the straight-forward integration with 3rd party SIEM software and other reporting/management tools and systems. Distinct “notification channels” within the product are used based on the type of threat detected, the priority level of the specific threat detected, the confidence of the match (low percentage match of digital fingerprint vs high), and the location of the match (specific end-point list). Each notification channel has integration points that can be linked in with 3rd party systems so that staff are notified using software and procedures they are already familiar with and trained on (i.e., through a SIEM solution that is already begin monitored by dedicated, trained staff). Prototypes of each specific integration would need to be developed as a part of this project to match/communicate with the exact SIEM (or other) system that is in use at the deployment site in the mannemethod desired. Such a prototype would be developed for the purpose of evaluating the technical interconnectivity between systems to meet the requirements of the deployment, and following the prototype testing period, would be load-tested and stress-tested to ensure it’s performance meets the demands of a highly scalable environment, leading to a mature integration over a period of 3-6 months following the initial prototype period of 1-3 months.
Technology Section Summary: With end-points being continuously monitored by the product, both known and unknown malware threats delivered by the network and removable media will be detected and reported through SIEM system integration and direct email/SMS messages with minimal impact to the end-point (on all major OSs, including desktop and mobile). Centralized management and temporal monitoring of digital fingerprints enables the system to proactively locate and identify malware threats before zero day as well as enabling the staff to conduct their own investigations of systems either in the present or the past for forensic investigations. This makes CYBR’s BlindSpot a complete product that reaches all of the end-point devices to ensure safety and security from all types of malware threats.
Defense Utility
The blockchain’s cyber security posture will be greatly enhanced by BlindSpot. CYBR’s executive team works with various military and federal organizations and has a deep understanding of the cyber security challenges that face the enterprise today including advanced persistent threat (APT), polymorphic and pleomorphic malware, zero day attacks and the need to locate white and black files in real time. These threats have now permeated to the blockchain and must be secured.
Company and Customers
The proposed team includes CYBR, Inc. executive management and staff. The company is a works closely with its sister company, 21st Century Technologies, Inc. (21CT), which is a HUBZone certified, Small Business entity. 21CT serves as a value added reseller (VAR) for CYBR, Inc. and is currently a teammate on the DOMino classified DHS contract as a subcontractor to Raytheon.
Existing, paying customers include Stratford University, Test Pros and Devitas. The company also has integrator and VAR partner relationships with Anomali (formerly Threatstream), Lockheed Martin (Cyber and Space) and various commercial entities, which the company believes will become paying customers in 2019.
Transition and Commercialization
Our technology is a commercially available product and commercial sales have been made. The company is actively working to scale this solution to hundreds of thousands of users, which the company has deemed do-able and is in the process of horizontally scaling.
Data Rights Assertions
CYBR, Inc. currently holds a provisional patent and incorporates other trade secrets into the solution. No unreasonable restrictions (including ITAR) are placed upon the use of this intellectual property with regards to global sales.
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