Mind Hacking – Cyber Threat of the Future?

April 7, 2017 1:20 pm Lisa Kelly

You may be aware of the latest Scarlett Johansson film ‘Ghost in the Shell’ based upon the famous Japanese manga series that spanned a franchise that even Marvel would be proud of.

The film sees Johansson play a cyber-enhanced human that has been modified to act as a weapon against terror. In the film, we see a new type of cyber security, one that deals with the hacking into of a human mind. A far-flung concept? Not quite!

The Relationship between the mind & cyber security

Experts at the University of Washington have revealed how hackers could insert images into apps and record our brains reaction using brain-computer interfaces.

Brain-computer Interfaces (BCIs) are commonly used in medical fields and other industries. It was originally created to improve human lives but the possibility has arisen that it could be used for more malicious purposes.

For example, you could be playing a video game and see a familiar brand logo pop-up on the screen that vanishes. Researchers say these images are used to record your brains unintentional responses to them using a BCI, which can be a wearable that monitors stress levels or a cap covered in electrodes.

The research goes onto warn that these cyber criminals could use this method to find out which political party you are affiliated with, your religious beliefs and other personal information that may harm your reputation or safety.

Should we prepare for the apocalypse?

No, not yet. The researchers have said that the technology isn’t yet capable of complete mind reading so we should be safe for now. However, they warn that when its combined with virtual reality (VR) headset technology, fitness apps that use physical devices, modified BCI equipment and other combinations of software and hardware is when it could prove to be a problem.

So, while there is no current need to worry about our minds being read without our consent and that information being used improperly, it does raise the real possibility of ethical concerns regarding this combination of technology in the future.

Phishing and Ransomware Sophistication

‘Phew, so I can continue to be complacent with cyber security?’ No, with smarter, more convincing scams constantly evolving, it’s still important to stay aware and educated on the latest cyber threats to you and your business.

The modern-day hacker already uses sophisticated methods to target individuals and businesses. As shown by Verizon’s latest data breach investigation  that showed 30 percent of phishing messages were opened, up seven percent on the previous year.  A further 13 percent of those who opened the message, also opened the attachment leading to malware deployment.

Our phishing simulating software ‘MetaPhish’ provides an awareness and training portal that allows you to develop and implement your simulated phishing and targeted learning remediation for your organisation.

As a recognised leader for staff awareness, policy governance and risk management we are ideally placed to guide you if you do have any concerns about privacy, cyber security and compliance for your business. Feel free to get in contact for an informal chat and we’ll be able to let you know exactly what your organisation needs.