Cyberpunk Review » British researcher becomes infected with computer virus

May 27, 2010

British researcher becomes infected with computer virus

Source: TechNews Daily, then BBC News, now spreading like a virus…

Dr Mark Gasson explains to the BBC how he got infected.

Proof of concept. Yesterday, word was spreading around the nets about a man who infected himself with a computer virus. That man was Dr. Mark Gasson from the University of Reading (UK), who had an RFID chip in his hand. What he did with that RFID chip and virus should be cause for alarm…

(TechNews Daily) Gasson had a relatively simple chip implanted in the top of his left hand near his thumb last year. It emits a signal that is read by external sensors, allowing him access to the Reading laboratory and for his cell phone to operate.

He and his colleagues created a malicious code for the chip. When the lab’s sensors read the code, the code inserted itself into the building computer database that governs who has access to the premises.

“The virus replicates itself through the database and potentially could copy itself onto the access cards that people use,” Gasson said.

The experiment showed that implants which wirelessly communicate with other computers can infect them and vice versa.


Ammo for the anti-RFID crowd. As you might have figured, Dr. Gasson deliberately infected himself to prove a point :

Human-Computer Virus

( “Our research shows that implantable technology has developed to the point where implants are capable of communicating, storing and manipulating data,” he said. “They are essentially mini computers. This means that, like mainstream computers, they can be infected by viruses and the technology will need to keep pace with this so that implants, including medical devices, can be safely used in the future.”

As you can imagine, there are some serious implications for such human-computer infections, and even possibilities of human to human transmissions via infected RFID chips. Anti-RFID groups can use this as a weapon against the RFIDs themselves. Instead of getting spam in your inbox, it will arrive directly to your cortex. How about a DDoS attack on your pacemaker? Even worse, a zombie apocalypse courtesy of Conficker using infected PEOPLE!

This post has been filed under HackZ AttackZ!, Cyberpunked living, News as Cyberpunk by Mr. Roboto.


May 27, 2010

0m1kr0n said:

If it’s injecting code then it must be a vulnerability in the receivers software that allows shellcode execution

May 28, 2010

Stormtrooper of Death said:

“Even worse, a zombie apocalypse courtesy of Conficker using infected PEOPLE!”

dont worry;

if this happenes, they simply send ‘The A-Team’ or the Transformers to clean up the mess.

usecide said:

Wait, wait.
Human infected by a computer virus. Yeah, right …
I assume when human is infected by a virus, then this virus somehow affects human’s behavior. Moreover this virus should replicate itself in the infected body, does it do this? No.
This whole news storm started by dr Gasson is a way to get reporters attention.
So I can implant myself with bluetooth device, can I say that “Humans can connect with computers with their minds” ?
I do not think so, nevertheless it looks like a great newspaper title …
In described case human is nothing more then a backpack to carry RFID chip, human is not infected by a computer virus.

comwedge said:

It’s an interesting article nonetheless i’m forced to agree with Dr usecide there’s no proof there that he actually infected himself with the virus just the device stored in his hand. Security companies should be wary though.

[…] RFID news from a good website.…omputer-virus/ __________________ **Official humanoid-mech/Gundam Club** remember, unregulated speech is […]

June 9, 2010

ShadowGunner49 said:

It’s a very interesting article. Personally, I would love to be hit with a Zombie Attack.

June 15, 2010

Noctem said:

Regardless of if the “human” is infected with the virus, the chip being infected with it could prove to be a huge problem. If an RFID chip is implanted in us, and is being used to identify us or carry certain information - then a virus infecting it could cause much chaos.
I would say that somebody hacking into the chips in general is a big threat, and if there are viruses created with the purpose of infecting these chips there are many possibilities in stealing personal data amongst other things. It is just as plausible that one could go along not realising their chip has been hacked into or infected with a virus, so they end up carrying around something that is doing more harm attached to them than good. Like with all technology, it’s vulnerable to many issues, some more disasterous than others. When you are involving yourself to such an extent with technology there is the argument of what happens when something ceases to function properly.

July 23, 2010

comwedge said:

There are RFID devices about the size of a pin head and if we haven’t already been tagged, we will be soon. Lot of rumours about the H1N1 Virus (and not fully tested) Vaccine having contained these RFID’s though mostly it’s just unsubstantiated rumour (Such a good phrase). I believe the best way, if they can get past the body attacking the RFID’s in the blood, is to put it in Coca Cola or some similar popular product used worldwide.

August 10, 2010

2033 said:

Very nice headline. But the problem is the data carrier. If an rfid is able to receive data and store it, the red flag will be presented.
At least that’s what I hope.

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