Perhaps this could be the beginning of a world where criminal justice is made easy, your boss or girlfriend or the government could spie on your thoughts and tell if you’re lying or not. That sounds great. Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but any time there’s something about scientists making advances in mind-reading technology, it’s hard not to get all hyperbolic.
Utilizing commercial brain-wave reading devices, often used for hands-free gaming, the researchers discovered that they could identify when subjects recognized familiar objects, faces, or locations, which helped them better guess sensitive information. Security interrogators could benefit most immediately from the new brain hacking technique, since it would reveal when suspects are actually familiar with the face of a potential accomplice. As for bank information, scientists could guess the first PIN number only 40% of the time. But, as brain-controlled devices become more common, the researches warn that viruses could discretely display images on a screen and help tech-savvy thieves narrow down their search for private information.
Brainwave-reading devices, which control computers hands-free, have become increasingly popular for entertainment, control of prosthetics for paralyzed individuals, and military application. The latest commercial versions of brain-reading devices, often used by researchers and software developers, can cost as little as $300 (the product pictured above is the “Emotiv“).
So, in the eerily titled, “On the Feasibility of Side-Channel Attacks with Brain-Computer Interfaces,” a team of researchers from Oxford, Berkeley, and Geneva tested the liklihood that hackers could hijack the device and attempt to uncover sensitive information.
“More specifically, we are interested in understanding how easily this technology can be turned against its users to reveal their private information, that is, information they would not knowingly or willingly share,” wrote the researchers.
Participants were outfitted with commercial-grade brain-wave reading devices and shown a list of people, possible PIN numbers, and the likely location of their home. Often, when the researchers stumbled upon the actual information they were seeking, they saw an expected spike in brain-wave P300, which is known to activate when presented with familiar information. Researchers could guess the correct answer for participants’ first PIN number 20% of the time, the regional location of their home 30%, birth month 60%, and the bank branch of their ATM 30%.
With refinement, the researchers imagine that the brain-hacking technique will get more accurate. For instance, when trying to identify a persons home, “we envision possible future attacks in which the true geo- graphic location of a user is leaked by showing maps or landmarks with increased accuracy.”
- richaveritt reblogged this from iheartchaos
- richaveritt likes this
- colorvomitworld reblogged this from iheartchaos
- grumpimus-prime reblogged this from iheartchaos
- meeksmoniker reblogged this from iheartchaos
- brainlover reblogged this from iheartchaos
- d34d1n51d3 reblogged this from iheartchaos
- megellen likes this
- thatcaranoguy likes this
- veronox likes this
- nativechef likes this
- abbacuus reblogged this from iheartchaos
- danduran1121 reblogged this from iheartchaos
- raccoon-hero likes this
- superiorvintage likes this
- dictaylorswift reblogged this from iheartchaos
- sonofbrosie likes this
- voodoo-diamonds likes this
- daisybuchanan likes this
- bestiasolipsista likes this
- fromtroywithlove likes this
- a-powerful-wizard reblogged this from iheartchaos
- sincaras likes this
- themerrypranxter reblogged this from iheartchaos
- doctor-tiger-fucker reblogged this from iheartchaos
- doctor-tiger-fucker likes this
- cityblue30 reblogged this from iheartchaos
- cityblue30 likes this
- votetrashley likes this
- iheartchaos posted this