Electrical implants that are being used to help sufferers of Parkinson’s disease will one day be advanced enough to steal memories, Oxford researchers have found.
As the technology develops and knowledge of how memories are formed increases, experts are growing concerned this could allow hackers to manipulate people.
People will be able to record and enhance memories in five years, buy memory boosting implants in ten years and harvesting and controlling memories may be possible by 2038, a report claims.
An episode in the popular show “Black Mirror” involves an implanted brain chip that allows users to record and replay everything they see and hear.
The embedded chips are currently tiny pulse generators that treat patients with conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor or major depression.
Data is transmitted from these devices via Bluetooth so clinicians and doctors can monitor a patient’s state easily on a smartphone or tablet. Hackers of the future could manipulate this data transfer to erase, alter or implant memories and use them as leverage for blackmail or ransom.
The report from cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Labs and the University of Oxford Functional Neurosurgery Group claims that hackers could use the wireless communication to intercept data transmitted, to potentially take over the device itself. “Manipulation could result in changed settings causing pain, paralysis or the theft of private and confidential personal data,” the scientists said.
Source: “Daily Mail”