MISCELLANEOUS

Computer bug spreading to humans

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Remember the first computer viruses and the panic they caused as systems were falling apart under an incomprehensible threat at that moment? Well, the time has now come for humans to take into account the possibility of getting infected, as biometric viruses are not the subject of science-fiction movies anymore.

According to a report issued by LiveScience, scientists from the Cybernetic Intelligence Research Group with the University of Reading managed to successfully infect a chip implanted in researcher Mark Gasson’s hand with a computer bug. The malicious code was especially written for the RFID chip and would automatically spread itself via the reading sensors and reached the access control database.

The researchers’ findings are by no means negligible, and the proof-of-concept attempt at compromising the local security of a lab isn’t by far the main concern. What the scientists involved in the project revealed is the fact that basically any electronic device can become a comfortable host for malicious binary code, including advanced medical equipment such as pacemakers and deep brain stimulators –vital elements for patients suffering from heart conditions and the Parkinson disease, respectively.

And, while common computer malware can only punch you a hole in the banking balance, an attack over medical instruments would undoubtedly end up far worse.

About the author

Bogdan BOTEZATU

Bogdan Botezatu is living his second childhood at Bitdefender as senior e-threat analyst. When he is not documenting sophisticated strains of malware or writing removal tools, he teaches extreme sports such as surfing the web without protection or rodeo with wild Trojan horses. He believes that most things in life can be beat with strong heuristics and that antimalware research is like working for a secret agency: you need to stay focused at all times, but you get all the glory when you catch the bad guys.