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article imageBritish scientist first human 'infected' by computer virus?

By R. C. Camphausen     May 26, 2010 in Technology
Reading - A young British scientist stakes a claim to being the first human infected with a computer virus after he contaminated an electronic RFID chip implanted in his hand.
At first is sounds like just another crazy claim for the next Guinness Book of Records, but it seems that Dr. Mark Gasson from the University of Reading truly is the first human carrying a computer virus inside his body. However he, the human carrier, might no actually be "infected" -- the chip he has embedded in his hand surely is.
Dr. Gasson implanted a chip into his hand that gives him access to lab facilities without needing a key or magnetic card, and allows him to be the only person who can access his mobile phone while it is locked to all others. But he went so far as to infect that chip with a virus, wanting to test whether or not it will be possible to infect other chips in the system with a proverbial sleight of hand. And yes, it works. TechWorld informs us he succeeded to infect his PC, that the virus in the chip in his hand was able to migrate to the desktop computer.
The question may arise why someone would want to do that, but answers to that are easy to find. Among Dr Gasson's reasons is the awareness that more and more people have chip-based electronic parts in their bodies - a pacemaker for example - and that we will have to learn all we can about how such vital instruments may be impacted by other electronic devices.
Also, he thinks that implanted chips, like we now use them for dogs and cats, will most likely find their way into the human body in one way or another. He, for one, has chipped himself voluntarily, others may do so as well, and there's the distinct possibility that in a security obsessed world chip implants may make passports and credit cards obsolete in the future.
The BBC has a short video concerning this story.
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