A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
DNA May Contain Malware
Researchers from the University of Washington have shown (for the first time) that it’s possible to encode malicious software into physical strands of DNA. And why would you introduce code that is useless to the body? So that when a gene sequencer analyzes it the resulting data becomes a program that corrupts gene-sequencing software and takes control of the underlying computer. Because of course you would. If you could.
And Winchell Chung adds:
While that attack is far from practical for any real spy or criminal, it's one the researchers argue could become more likely over time, as DNA sequencing becomes more commonplace, powerful, and performed by third-party services on sensitive computer systems. And, perhaps more to the point for the cybersecurity community, it also represents an impressive, sci-fi feat of sheer hacker ingenuity.
“We know that if an adversary has control over the data a computer is processing, it can potentially take over that computer,” says Tadayoshi Kohno, the University of Washington computer science professor who led the project, comparing the technique to traditional hacker attacks that package malicious code in web pages or an email attachment. “That means when you’re looking at the security of computational biology systems, you’re not only thinking about the network connectivity and the USB drive and the user at the keyboard but also the information stored in the DNA they’re sequencing. It’s about considering a different class of threat.”
Science fiction authors effortlessly captured this sneaky stratagem several years ago. In The Medusa Chronicles, sf writers Alastair Reynolds and Stephen Baxter describe a logical pathogen:
"Is there a problem?" Ten asked mildly.
Valentina leaned over the desk, fists clenched on the surface. "Falcon. What did you do to him?"
Tem blinked. "Do to him?"
"You were given express orders," Bodan said, flanking his sister, his face flushed red with anger. "You were told to alter his DNA. You were told to embed the logical pathogen."
"I did as I was instructed."
"Then why isn't it working?" Valentina's mouth, astonishingly, was dripping drool, a silken line of it reaching Tem's desk. "There's been enough time! We know from tests on captured Machines that our pathology strikes at a latency in their deep instruction core...."
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/27/2019)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Mice Gestate In Mechanical Womb
'... in the Decanting Room, the newly-unbottled babes uttered their first yell of horror and amazement.' - Aldous Huxley, 1932.
Worlds With Underground Oceans More Conducive To Life
'There is life on Europa.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1982.
Monkey Gets A Bigger Brain, Thanks To Human Gene
'It's a madhouse! a madhouse!' - Planet of the Apes, 1968.
Mushroom Coffin Returns You To Nature, Naturally
'She touched the leaf. She was wanted.' - Philip K Dick, 1954.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Implantable Covid-Detecting Microchip Developed By DARPA
'Employees... were implanted with advanced microprocessors...'
SpaceX Requests Starlink For Starship
'... sweating, heat-blistered engineers at every interplanetary radiograph station on three planets.'
SF Writers Predicted John Deere Autonomous Tractors
'The huge plow... seemed to shake itself - and began to move back southward.'
DARPA Funding AI Fighter Pilots
'Cultured brains on a slab.'
StoryFile To Help William Shatner Become Landru
"I am Landru. I am he! All that he was, I am."
Telehealth Drones To The Rescue
'A shadow passed over him, and he looked up.'
Capture Asteroids In A Bag
'... just as a small boy catches a swift ball in his cap.'
Sony Pocket Air Conditioner Is Phil Dick's Idea!
'... he went to the hall closet to get his pith helmet and his mandatory cooling-unit.'
Is It Possible To GROW Planes And Vehicles?
'These are your rudimentary seed packages...'
Guard Dog Robot Security Check
'We still use people at the main gates, but here it's an automated sentry.'
Sheepskin Parchment Helped Medieval Lawyers Prevent Fraud
'The single sheet he held, and even the words and signatures upon it, were all integral parts of a single giant molecule...'
Space 'Hurricane' Has Been Seen
'... it was the biggest of the four hundred odd storms raging in the Fifty Suns region.'
PR2 Fencing Robot Perfect For Kwisatz Haderach-in-training
'Now, we'll work on your timing. Let me see you catch that thing sinister.'
Sole Morphing Astronaut Boots - A New Pair Of Moon Boots?
'It’s an ideal device for kangarooing along in lunar gravity.'
Mice Gestate In Mechanical Womb
'... in the Decanting Room, the newly-unbottled babes uttered their first yell of horror and amazement.'
3rd Century BC Gold Bee Is Just The Start
Bees knees, I order you to freeze!
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories