We’ve all heard about microchips being implanted into everyone and how it could be the future of all of our financial dealings. Our credit card and personal information would be contained in the tiny microchip implanted just under our skin and we could pay or charge for products or services simply by the wave of our hand.
Some refer to microchips as being the ‘mark of the beast’ and while that may or may not be true, I’m not going to get into that here.
What I do want to explore is the possibility of implanted microchips being used as the cyber weapon of the future.
Consider the research conducted by Mark Gasson, a researcher at the University of Reading in Great Britain. In 2009, he implanted a microchip under the skin of his hand. Based on the type of chip used in pets, Gasson had programmed his chip to be able to unlock the security doors at the university and he could unlock his cell phone by just holding it in his hand.
In 2010, Gasson intentionally uploaded a computer virus in his microchip. Any device that was able to read his microchip became infected with the virus. As the researcher walked through the research building, his virus was easily uploaded into any of the computer systems that were able to read his microchip. The virus infection resulted in many security doors to be unlockable, making the facilities virtually inaccessible.
Every year computer technology improves by leaps and bounds. If Gasson could upload a virus that infected a building’s security system, what other kinds of viruses could be transmitted by implanted microchips? Could they be used to gain access into secure buildings and facilities? Could they be used to infected airport security systems or government buildings? What about corrupting credit card scanners or downloading credit card information. Could it be used to infect your smart phone, laptop or IPad?
Having microchips implanted in the hands, wrists and forearms makes a person an undetectable walking cyber weapon. How do we protect ourselves from this kind of attack? Just how paranoid will society get once this starts to happen?
All I can say is that I’m glad I don’t travel anymore, my laptop stays at home and that I still have a dumb phone.