Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Forget computer hacking, your brain may be next target!
Hackers who command your computer are bad enough. Now scientists worry that someday, they'll try to take over your brain.
In the past year, researchers have developed technology that makes it possible to use thoughts to operate a computer, maneuver a wheelchair or even use Twitter — all without lifting a finger. But as neural devices become more complicated — and go wireless — some scientists say the risks of “brain hacking”should be taken seriously.“Neural devices are innovating at an extremely rapid rate and hold tremendous promise for the future, ”said computer security expert Tadayoshi Kohno of the University of Washington. “But if we don't start paying attention to security, we're worried that we might find ourselves in five or 10 years saying we've made a big mistake. ”For example, the next generation of implantable devices to control prosthetic limbs will likely include wireless controls that allow physicians to remotely adjust settings on the machine. If neural engineers don't build in security features such as encryption and access control, an attacker could hijack the device and take over the robotic limb. “It's very hard to design complex systems that don't have bugs,”Kohno said. “As these medical devices start to become more and more complicated, it gets easier and easier for people to overlook a bug that could become a very serious risk. It might border on science fiction today, but so did going to the moon 50 years ago. ”
Some might question why anyone would want to hack into someone else's brain, but the researchers say there's a precedent for using computers to cause neurological harm.
In November 2007 and March 2008, malicious programmers vandalized epilepsy support websites by putting up flashing animations, which caused seizures in some photo - sensitive patients.
AGENCIES BRAIN STORMING: As neural devices go wireless, hackers might try to manipulate deep brain stimulators or electrode systems for controlling prosthetic limbs
Publication: Times Of India Hyderabad; Date: Jul 20, 2009; Section: Times Business.
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- Tuhin Kumar Dutta
- Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, India
- The researcher, for life on other planets existence.I believe that life in the universe is the cause of life on Earth. Life in other forms do exist. Those whom we call Gods were Genitic Engineers and of Alien Origin they came here and spread life after life was destroyed on other planet. No smoking, no drinking,like to eat chocolates!