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Thread: Neurosecurity: Protecting the Brain from Hackers

  1. #1

    Default Neurosecurity: Protecting the Brain from Hackers

    Your thoughts are secure. Mostly. For now at least....

    From: The next hacking frontier: Your brain? -
    Some might question why anyone would want to hack into someone else's brain, but the researchers say there's a precedent for using computers to cause neurological harm. In November 2007 and March 2008, malicious programmers vandalized epilepsy support Web sites by putting up flashing animations, which caused seizures in some photo-sensitive patients.

    From: The Journal of Neurosurgery, "Neurosecurity: security and privacy for neural devices", July, 2009
    Cognitive Function Augmentation

    Another branch of neural engineering research rehabilitates cognitive function by using neural engineering to bridge damaged brain tissue; an example of this is memory augmentation. Several neurosecurity concerns may arise.... A hacker should not be able to alter the settings of the device wirelessly to stimulate the brain in an unsafe manner or to interfere with the normal formation of memories (integrity); for example, a hacker should not be able to cause disproportionately intense memories or cause unimportant things to become long-term memories. As noted above, the plasticity of the brain can cause spurious electrical signals to make long-term alterations to the brainís normal function.

    Because these technologies will be intimately connected to a patientís cognitive functions, we must ensure that future technological advances do not unintentionally jeopardize the privacy of an individualís mind (confidentiality). For example, if it is possible to determine whether a patient is familiar with something by wirelessly eavesdropping on the implantís signals, then neurosecurity dictates that the implant should be designed to conceal this information; otherwise, the patient could be forced to reveal potentially private information. Last, we must ensure that a hacker cannot simply disable the device, thereby causing unexpected gaps in a patientís memory (availability).
    I agree with the authors that this isn't a significant issue now, but it will be in 10-20 years.

  2. #2
    HAHHAHHAH! Array INTJ123's Avatar
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    this is like ghost in the shell. The japanese anime.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array paradox fox's Avatar
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    Just because I'm an INFP doesn't mean I'm emo!

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by paradox fox View Post
    The question is: Are you queasy from uncertainty about hackers, or are you queasy because someone has already hacked your brain?


    I think transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a very real, though unlikely, threat right now.


    Ok, so it appears from the design of the device in the video that we're safe from everyone except our dentist or hairdresser, right?

    Nooooo! It's now available as a portable device! :horor:

    Don't let people hold things too close to your head on the subway! Don't sleep too close to the wall if you're in an apartment or hotel room!

  5. #5
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    I can see it now as a new government agency run by the Dept. of Homeland Security under the guise of limiting potential threats of terrorism. It makes me wish I was born in the past.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    ‚Äé"I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.

    "So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us..."

  6. #6
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    Wait . . . did someone hack Tolkien into my brain just then?

  7. #7
    Fail 2.0 Array BlueScreen's Avatar
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    Freude, sch√∂ner G√∂tterfunken Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum! Deine Zauber binden wieder Was die Mode streng geteilt; Alle Menschen werden Br√ľder, Wo dein sanfter Fl√ľgel weilt.

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