Researcher Infects Himself with a Computer Virus

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A researcher in England had a radio-frequency identification chip implanted in his hand. Now, he’s infected it with a virus that he and his coworkers created, making him one of the first living, breathing carriers of a computer virus.

Dr. Mark Gasson, a research fellow at the University of Reading, used the chip to activate his cell phone and unlock doors. This kind of chip is generally used to track animals.

With the virus, Gasson’s cell phone won’t work, and he can no longer unlock doors on his campus.

On the bright side, he can infect computers with the virus. Misery loves company, right?

Gasson says the virus spreads to computers from the implanted technology, not from humans.  The lab’s computers read the code in the virus, which then replicates itself in the system. If a lab employee swipes his/her card through an infected reader they can also catch the virus.

Gasson considers the chip and virus part of his research on the potential risks of implanted devices. People with bionic implants could pick up such viruses, theoretically.

At least, Gasson created a benign virus. Otherwise, we could have another epidemic on our hands.

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