Hackers Induce Epileptic Seizure Like 'Press Enter'
The incident is being described as the first computer attack to deliberately harm the human users of computers. The message was posted on Saturday, March 22nd.
"We are seeing people affected," says Ken Lowenberg, senior director of web and print publishing at the Epilepsy Foundation. "It's fortunately only a handful. It's possible that people are just not reporting yet -- people affected by it may not be coming back to the forum so fast."
A similar kind of effect occurred accidentally during an episode of the original Pokemon anime, aired on December 16, 1997. During one sequence, Pikachu stops some vaccine missiles with its Thunderbolt attack; the resulting explosion was done with a technique called "paki paki." Bright strobe lights blinked at 12 Hz fullscreen for several seconds.
Thousands of viewers reported a wide variety of symptoms: nausea, headaches, blurred vision, seizures and convulsions. Doctors found that only a very small number were actually children with photo-sensitive epilepsy.
(Press Enter, by John Varley)
As far as I know, the first person to suggest that a computer display could be hacked to induce seizures in epileptics is John Varley. In his award-winning 1984 story Press Enter, a sinister AI does just that:
... then the screen started to flicker. I stared at it for a while. It seemed to me that there was an image trying to form on the screen. Something three-dimensional. Just as I was starting to get a picture of it I happened to glance at Lisa, and she was looking at me. Her face was flickering. She came to me and put her hands over my eyes.
"Victor, you shouldn't look at that..."
(Read more about Display-Induced Epileptic Seizure)
Via Hackers Assault Epilepsy Patients via Computer.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/30/2008)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 6 )
Related News Stories -
Twitter Sarcasm Detected By Computer
Livescribe 3 Black Edition Smartpen
Yes, Thunderbird fans, you've seen this one before!
LONald 'Contract Robot' First In UK
'The law clerk arrived, a smallish robot...' - Frederik Pohl, 1954.
The Time-Traveling Quantum Computer
'His closed-timeline-curve time-travel computing machine.' Stephen Baxter, 2004.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
SCiO Scanner Wants You To Be Spock
Almost as easy as a tricorder?
Self-Adapting Composite Heals Itself
'...Could seal the punctures that grain-of-sand-sized meteors might make.'
Rigid Clothing, Or Wearable Furniture?
'Earth's scientists solved the problem to some extent by devising rigid metallic clothing...'
Swarming Intelligent Aquatic Surface Robots Ahoy!
'A remote-controlled emulsion, as it were, with uniform center...'
SuitX Cheap Medical Exoskeleton
'... standing on two corrugated-soled titanium footplates...'
Harvesting Energy From Internal Resonance
'Sometimes a man has a windmill on his roof...'
Sticker Harvests Energy From Your Skin
Another way to harvest power from the body.
Twitter Sarcasm Detected By Computer
Myo-Controlled Prosthetic Arm
'Sensitive actuators touch the tendons in your right wrist.'
Self-Driving Trucks For Netherlands' Ports
'Trucks gulped packages and scurried like beetles...'
Google Should Name Roads After Science Fiction Authors
Heinlein, DIck, Niven - and more!
Apple Ring: Finally, Engineers Want To Make My Finger Watch
'Crayn glanced at his finger watch...'
First Flower Grown In Space Is Edible
Yeoman Rand, admire the flowers, please.
Get Your Own 64 Channel, Dry-Electrode Brain-Computer Headset!
'they all relaxed and got mellow....'
Biggest Drone Swarm Sets World Record
Most Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) airborne simultaneously.
ATLAS Robot Now Does Housework!
'Just what did I want Flexible Frank to do?'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories