People are living in a world of connectivity, where wireless computing devices are widely used. While it support our life effectively, it would also threat us.
Theoretically, almost technology divides can be hacked (hijack), from cars to light bulbs, computers, ATMs ... However, the most dangerous risk comes from neural implants.
|Hackers attacked the human brain through nerve implants.
"When the implanted devices become cheaper with more functions, they are being used regularly, lead to the increase of transplant patients. But the downside is the risk of attack is also increased. For example, what could terrorists do to “access” into a politician’s mind? What if they could blackmail you by controlling your behavior or even your thoughts?” the experts of the University Oxford, UK warn.
According to them, people need to prepare to deal with the risk of "brain infiltration" when hacker attacks into our brain and controls the entire thinking and actions. Laurie Pycroft, a graduate student at Oxford University have described the way in which the hacker can remotely control a person through taking over control of the implanted medical device.
Such devices to control insulin levels (in diabetes) or a pacemaker can easily be compromised, thereby leading to a deadly risk.
The most common brain implants method is brain simulation system DBS. This system consists of electrodes which are embedded deeply inside the brain, connect to some wires beneath the skin's surface to transmit signals to and from a device simulation (also implanted in the body).
Simulation devices include batteries, a tiny microprocessor with wireless antenna connector, which allows the physician to program its operation and functions.
For example, it can operate as a pacemaker devices, with the only difference is being in direct contact with the brain.
On the positive side, the DBS is a great tool to treat a lot of different disorders. The equipment is commonly used to treat Parkinson's disease (Parkinson's) with incredible results. Currently, the medical community is also testing the use of DBS in treating depression.
Targeting different brain regions by different nerve signals simulating tools will help physicians to precisely control patient brain, thereby treating exactly the symptoms.
However, the ability to precisely control the brain, combined with wireless nerve signals simulating system might cause the potential risk to be exploited by hacker. For example they can change the simulation settings, causing terrible pain to patients, or block completely the ability to move of patients with Parkinson.
Of course, the attacks will be difficult to implement because they require outstanding technology skills, with the ability to closely monitor patients in a long time. But if the attacker determinate, there is no doubt that they still can achieve the purpose.
There are some solutions that can help the implant against the risk of attack, but designing an absolutely safe system doesn’t mean being easy used in practice.
Also, implant devices are often designed with very small size with limited battery capacity, lead to the limit of equipping strict security fence.
Moreover, they must be designed so that the medical staff could easily access in emergency situations, which required a controlled form as "back door".Lai Nguyen