Home / Computers/technology / News / Researchers Hack A Computer... Using Malware Encoded In Synthetic Dna


A team of scientists have successfully shown that a computer can be hacked through malicious code incorporated into synthetic DNA. While this is still essentially hypothetical, with no evidence there are such threats currently in the wild, it does expose a major security flaw that could pose a significant problem in the future.

The research team demonstrated how executable code can be embedded into synthetic DNA strands. When a software program sequences that DNA, executable code encoded within it allows the exploit to gain control of the computer, potentially compromising the security of its data or even altering the test results.

But, as a hypothetical demonstration of how this process could work, it clearly shows how an artificially modified blood or DNA sample could corrupt a computer system. Future nefarious possibilities may include criminal DNA results being tampered with, or even valuable DNA data banks being stolen. 

The point of the research seems to be to highlight a potential future problem that needs to be addressed. The team will present the study at the upcoming USENIX Security Symposium in Vancouver. 


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