DYK Thursday – First “Human” to be Infected by a Computer Virus
By on May 27th, 2010

BBC News website reported on Wednesday that a   British scientist, claims he is the first man in the world to be infected by a computer virus.

Dr. Mark Gasson, a scientist from the University of Reading, claims he has been infected by a computer virus after he deliberately inserted a contaminated chip into his hand to carry out experiment.

The integrated chip was programmed in such a way that it would contaminate the other devices which are associated with this chip. This chip, which helped Gasson to open the security doors and also activate mobile phones, is a sophisticated version of the chips which are used to track pets.

The device, which is of the size of a rice grain, is a RFID chip, allowed him to have secure access over University buildings. Once you insert this microchip into a device, it contaminates the complete surroundings.

Dr. Gasson, with a belief that “Trial is a proof of principle” deliberately inserted a computer virus into the microchip which was later inserted into his left hand last year, to study its effects.

With the results, after a year, this is what Dr. Gasson said,

“With the benefits of this type of technology come risks. We may improve ourselves in some way but much like the improvements with other technologies, mobile phones for example, they become vulnerable to risks, such as security problems and computer viruses.”

However, this technology can be widely used to improve and devise new medical devices. Dr. Gasson says,

“This type of technology has been commercialised in the United States as a type of medical alert bracelet, so that if you’re found unconscious you can be scanned and your medical history brought up.”

However, Professor Rafael Capurro of the Steinbeis-Transfer-Institute of Information Ethics in Germany, says that these kind of “digital device implants” can have both positive and negative consequences. He says,

“If someone can get online access to your implant, it could be serious,” he said.

“From an ethical point of view, the surveillance of implants can be both positive and negative,” he said.

“Surveillance can be part of medical care, but if someone wants to do harm to you, it could be a problem.”

However, if these devices could somehow make your IQ and memory level increase, then there would be a great demand, says Dr. Gasson

Check this video clip

So, what do you think about this? Do you want a microchip instead of your natural brain in your body? Do you want your body to be “hacked” by hackers? I certainly don’t! Discuss your views in the comment section.

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Author: Pramodh KP
Pramodh is a 16 year old blogger from India who loves to blog about internet and computer. He is currently a part-time blogger at TechMonk

Pramodh KP has written and can be contacted at pramodh@techie-buzz.com.

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