The University of Reading’s Dr. Mark Gasson has an unusual distinction: he’s the first human to become infected with a computer virus. After corrupting a small electronic chip with the malware, the British scientist inserted the device into his hand and was able to pass on the virus to external systems.
The chip itself uses a technology called RFID to send information back and forth. It allows Dr. Gasson to gain access through security doors and activate his cell phone — all of which still sounds odd and futuristic enough though the technology has been used for applications as mundane as paying for drinks in upscale nightclubs already for years.
The whole concept is admittedly a bit of a stunt, but it does address some of the issues we will start to face as implantable electronics become more prevalent and mainstream. When you’re talking about putting a chip inside your body, “blue screen of death” takes on a whole new meaning, as do the potential consequences of hacking and malicious security breaches.
Dr. Gasson himself admits the self-infection is mostly “proof of principle” but warns about the implications of implantable electronics particularly in the realm of medical devices. The fear that hackers could go after your pacemaker isn’t exactly new either, but the risks remain and grow perhaps even more severe as medical implant technology becomes ever more sophisticated.
Check out the video below and let us know what you think of Dr. Gasson’s “infection”: fear-mongering or important warning as we move ever closer to the age of mainstream cybernetics?
Source – Mashable