"This shows that other solutions to storing information are possible and takes us closer to an expanded-DNA biology that will have many exciting applications — from new medicines to new kinds of nanotechnology," said Romesberg.
What can be done with that secret ID? Quite a lot, it turns out. The IMSI is sent by the phone to the network when first signing on to the network; it's used by the network to figure out which call should be routed where. With someone else's IMSI, an attacker can determine the person's name and phone number, and even track his or her position. It also opens the door to active attacks—creating fake cell towers that a victim's phone will connect to, enabling every call and text message to be eavesdropped.
Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing. -- Ambrose Bierce