Researchers Are Trying To Hack Your Brain

The thought of someone being able to read your mind is frightening. According to some new research presented at the 21st USENIX Security Symposium, brain hacking might be more realistic than we would assume.

The research has nothing to do with psychics or supernatural stuff. Rather, it focuses its gaze on inexpensive products that you can buy now — like Emotiv's EPOC headset. Using a headset that lets you control your computer with your brainwaves, a hacker could hypothetically create a sort of "brain spyware" app that would trick you into revealing personal information.

The research centres on the P300 brainwave, which is emitted when you recognise something meaningful. In tests, 28 guinea pigs were given the headsets, then shown images of things like credit cards, ATMs and people, as they were asked specific questions. The brainwaves they released were analysed with signal-processing software from which the researchers were able to cull private data that was 15-40 per cent more accurate than if they had just guessed.

That's a huge margin, but it's still kind of scary. Someone clever could use this to steal your bank account numbers, credit score, weight or all that money hidden under your mattress. [CBS Seattle via CNET]


Comments

    "Someone clever could use this to steal"
    In the same way 'that' Chinese software determines what you are typing based on the sound of you r keystrokes and some empirocal data.
    ...If anything, devices like this will just teach us more about how to control our own minds and thoughts, and egos.
    Opensource FTW

    "28 guinea pigs were given the headsets"
    "guinea pigs"
    "credit cards"

    wat

      Guinea pigs are unfortunately subject to large amounts of credit card theft, and are also huge targets for Nigerian scammers. It is vital that we learn how they could be tricked into releasing their card details so we can prevent more scamming of these cute, but unfortunately gullible creatures.

        There's that and the fact that they have no pockets...

      Probably "guinea pigs" as in "human subjects that volunteered for the experiment"
      But I thought the same thing at first :)

    Identity theft is another major issue...

    Thank you for taking the time for this PSA. I will dispose of all brain scanners immediately as I do not want hackers converging on my secret data stored in the deep recesses of my mind. I knew the government was watching me.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now