Scientist injects computer virus into body

Dr. Mark Gasson from the University of Reading purposely injected a computer chip into his hand that contained malicious code. The computer chip is normally used for identification purposes, typically for tagging animals, but in this case it is used allow access into secured rooms.

The ID chip contained code that would infect the computer system and then infect any other ID chip that passed through that system. Gasson said that the project is a proof of concept but as medical implants become more sophisticated they may be susceptible to infection. "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."

Professor Rafael Capurro of the Steinbeis-Transfer-Institute of Information Ethics told BBC News that the findings were interesting, if someone was allowed to gain online access to your implant there could be serious implications. Capurro went on to say, "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."

Dr. Gasson is going to present his findings at the International Symposium for Technology and Society in Australia next month.

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