Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

Neurosecurity Concerns In Neural Implant Tech

Neural implants are now becoming more important in medical research. Devices like the iPlant to program your own brain and the neural implant for communication raise interesting possibilities to help people. However, a recent paper details some of the consequences of having an electronic device implanted below the surface of your conscious mind.

In their paper, Neurosecurity: security and privacy for neural devices, Tamara Denning, B.S., Yoky Matsuoka, Ph.D., anD Tadayoshi Kohno, Ph.D. of the University of Washington, present their case for special safeguards in electronic brain implants.

Security vulnerabilities have already been discovered; in 2003, a hacker demonstrated that cardiac defibrillators could be compromised wirelessly.

The authors present a number of scenarios that are realistic depictions of what might happen with technologies being developed today. Malicious persons might interfere with life-saving implanted technologies or prosthetic devices; individuals might even be tempted to reprogram or otherwise tweak their own devices.

Neurosecurity will probably face technical challenges that are dramatically different from those of traditional computer security applications. It is easy to ask a computer user to make security decisions in response to pop-up windows; in contrast, it would be difficult to ask the users of neural devices to make rapid meta-decisions about their own brains.

Furthermore, the consequence of a breach in neurosecurity—where human health and free will are at stake—is very different from a breach in com- puter security, where the victim is a computer on a desk. Due to the elegant yet little-understood plasticity of the neural system, changes made by hackers could have ir- reversible effects on human performance and cognition.

In his newly published novel WWW: Wake, sf author Robert J. Sawyer tells the story of Caitlin Decter, a blind teenager who participates in the Internet with the use of assistive devices.

When she gets the opportunity to have a special implant that might, with the help of a small external computer, help her to see, she jumps at it. However, her device (cleverly called an "eyePod") is "hacked" by an unexpected entity. She develops "websight":

Although each part of the Web she was was unique, it all followed the same general pattern: colored lines representing links, glowing circles of various sizes and brightness indicating websites...
(Read more about Sawyer's websight)

Science fiction readers have no trouble imagining (with the help of our favorite authors) the kinds of mischief that malicious persons could get into by hacking brain implants or the devices that service them. I'm sure readers could think of other examples.

Read more in Neurosecurity: security and privacy for neural devices (pdf) and Wired; thanks to Moira for the tip on this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/1/2009)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Medical ")

Brainoware Reservoir Computation Of Biological Neural Networks
'Head cheese. Cultured brains on a slab.' - Peter Watts, 1999.

Forward CarePod The AI Doctor's Office
'It's an old model,' Rawlins said. 'I'm not sure what to do.'

Octopus Suckers Inspire Transdermal Patches
'...a capsule which he placed against his wrist.' - Philip K. Dick, 1960.

'Droplet' Battery Microscale Power Pack
'...a power pack the size of a pea.' - Alfred Bester, 1956.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

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.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Ulm Sleep Pods For The Homeless
'The lid lifted and she crawled inside...'

Prophetic Offers Lucid Dreaming Halo With Morpheus-1 AI
''Leads trail away from insertion points on her face and wrist... to a lucid dreamer...'

More Like A Tumblebug Than A Motorcycle
'It is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel...'

Tesla Camera-Only Vision Predicted In 1930's SF
'By its means, the machine can see.'

First Ever Proof Of Water On Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'

Aptera Solar EV More Stylish Than Heinlein Steel Tortoise
'When confronted by hills, or rough terrain, it did not stop, but simply slowed until the task demanded equaled its steady power output.'

Gigantic Space Sunshade Would Fight Global Warming
'...the light of the sun had been polarized by two crossed fields so that no radiation could pass.'

Untethered Spacewalk's 50th Anniversary
'But that space walk of mine wasn't so very amazing.'

ESA Designs Huge Inflatable Moonbase
'It was like being inside a balloon; indeed, that was exactly where he was.'

AlphaGarden Robot Cares For Gardens Better Than Humans
'...a simple clock-set servok with pipe and hose arms.'

Let's Make Slaver Sunflowers! Engineering Plants To Reflect Light
'The mirror-blossom was a terrible weapon.'

TeslaBot Uber Driver (2024) And The Automatic Motorist (1911)
'Robots have worse problems than anybody'

DiffuseBot Uses Generative AI To Invent New Soft Robots
'It embodies several small-scale multiple stampers, apparently for dealing with sheet metal.'

Philips Smart Palm Recognition Smart Deadbolt
'A palm lock must be keyed to one individual's hand shape...'

BMind Smart Mirror from Baracoda
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who has the greatest wellness of all?

Ballie Your AI Robot Companion From Samsung
Projects your content anywhere you like.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.