DNA Hacking: Malicious Code Written Into A DNA Strand Can Hack A Computer

A big revolution in genomic sciences is taking place currently as the researchers are looking to find new ways to store data using DNA and improve the existing techniques of DNA sequencing. As a result, the biological and electronic worlds are beginning to influence each other.A recent study has went one step further and tried to underline the security risks involved in these process. The researchers have shown that hackers can use DNA to write malicious code and affect the machine reading it.The research was carried out at the University of Washington. For the first time, it was shown that when a gene sequencer analyzes the malicious code encoded in the physical strands of DNA, the resulting data turns into a program that corrupts gene-sequencing software.In a paper, the researchers have outlined their technique. They started their security analyses from the first step of the DNA processing, i.e., DNA strands in a tube. They experimentally evaluated that after sequencing and post-processing, the generated file was used as an input into a vulnerable program. After that, the file yielded an open socket for remote control.

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