Saturday, September 8, 2012

Cognitive Side Channels

A recent media buzz this week involves so-called "side channel" attacks or leakages of information from human brain to computer interfaces.  Not a ubiquitous technology today, but quite possibly down the road.

Essentially the attacks follow the lines of showing a plugged-in subject a bank, in which case the subject's mind races down the neural paths for things like account numbers, PINs, maybe balances or recent expenditures, etc.  And the mere thoughts picked up by the device can capture these otherwise private thoughts inside the subject's brain.

Sound scary?  It is.  The brain wasn't designed to keep information from itself.  Count us out of the "early adopter program".

Reminds us of the time the Ghostbusters were told the worst thing they could think of would be their next enemy:

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