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DNA Hackers: Synthetic biology weaponized virus, zero-day exploit to infect your brain?

January 26, 2012 Comments off

computerworld.com

From the let’s get futuristically freaky department, future hacking crimes could take a decidedly sinister twist; not hacking to breach systems but brains, bodies and behaviors. This DNA hacking goes way beyond potentially using police bees to bust biohackers, or even storing unhackable data in box of bio-encrypted bacteria. It’s not science fiction to hack insulin pumps or to use jamming signals to stop hackers from lethal pacemaker attacks, but now bioengineers and security futurists are warning that the day is coming when criminals and bioterrorists hunt for vulnerabilities that will give a new meaning to zero-day exploits. In the future, a weaponized virus will aim to infect you, your brain and body biology, and not just your computer or mobile device.

While some people resist the idea of needing antivirus or other security software defenses for their smartphones, in the world of synthetic biology, a world where bits, bytes, atoms and biology mix dreams with nightmare realities, it could be lethal to lag behind in patching potential vulnerabilities. Some day, when you hear about something going ‘viral,’ it Read more…

South African Charged With Making Bioterrorism Threat

February 15, 2011 Comments off

A South African man was arrested this weekend on suspicion of threatening to attack the United Kingdom and the United States with foot and mouth disease, the Associated Press reported today (see GSN, June 30, 2010).

Brian Roach, the owner of a Johannesburg-area engineering company, was apprehended on Saturday and brought into court today. The 64-year-old man allegedly warned the British government through e-mail and written communication that he planned to release the biological agent in the United Kingdom and the United States if he was not paid $4 million.

“We have the expertise and resources to do this very effectively and will be able to devastate the industry in the U.K. which will cost billions to the economy,” Roach said in an e-mail message sent to the British government. “We will devastate your farms and then we will then take the problem to Read more…