First human 'infected with computer virus'

full story at : http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/10158517.stm

A British scientist says he is the first man in the world to become infected with a computer virus.

Dr Mark Gasson from the University of Reading had a chip inserted in his hand which was then infected with a virus.

The device, which enables him to pass through security doors and activate his mobile phone, is a sophisticated version of ID chips used to tag pets.

In trials, Dr Gasson showed that the chip was able to pass on the computer virus to external control systems.

If other implanted chips had then connected to the system they too would have been corrupted, he said.

Medical alert
Dr Gasson admits that the test is a proof of principle but he thinks it has important implications for a future where medical devices such as pacemakers and cochlear implants become more sophisticated, and risk being contaminated by other human implants.

"With the benefits of this type of technology come risks. We may improve ourselves in some way but much like the improvements with other technologies, mobile phones for example, they become vulnerable to risks, such as security problems and computer viruses."

He also added: "Many people with medical implants also consider them to be integrated into their concept of their body, and so in this context it is appropriate to talk in terms of people themselves being infected by computer viruses."

However, Dr Gasson predicts that wider use will be made of implanted technology.

"This type of technology has been commercialised in the United States as a type of medical alert bracelet, so that if you're found unconscious you can be scanned and your medical history brought up."

Professor Rafael Capurro of the Steinbeis-Transfer-Institute of Information Ethics in Germany told BBC News that the research was "interesting".

"If someone can get online access to your implant, it could be serious," he said.

Popular posts from this blog

npm refusing to install as a dependency of itself

How to call javascript functions from VB.NET and using WebBrowser Control