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Hackers' Next Target — Your Brain? 295

Hugh Pickens writes "Wired reports that as neural devices become more complicated — and go wireless — some scientists say the risks of 'brain hacking' should be taken seriously. '"Neural devices are innovating at an extremely rapid rate and hold tremendous promise for the future," said computer security expert Tadayoshi Kohno of the University of Washington. "But if we don't start paying attention to security, we're worried that we might find ourselves in five or 10 years saying we've made a big mistake."' For example, the next generation of implantable devices to control prosthetic limbs will likely include wireless controls that allow physicians to remotely adjust settings on the machine. If neural engineers don't build in security features such as encryption and access control, an attacker could hijack the device and take over the robotic limb." Relatedly, several users have written to tell us that science may be closer to the science fiction "mind wipe" than previously thought. Put this all together and I welcome the next step in social networking; letting the cloud drive my limbs around town via a live webcam and then wiping the memory from my brain. Who has parked and is willing to deal?

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Mr. Cole's Axiom: The sum of the intelligence on the planet is a constant; the population is growing.