Brave users of Elon Musk's 'Neuralink' brain implants could be HACKED by crooks in future, cyber-experts suggest

PIONEERING cyber geeks who receive brain implants to boost their intelligence could have their minds hacked by cyber crooks.

That's the shock claim made by cyber experts, who warn the sci-fi noggin modifications are a major security risk.

Several firms worldwide are working towards the creation of interfaces that link a computer to your brain to grant you super-intelligence.

California-based Neuralink, for instance, is bankrolled by billionaire Elon Musk and aims to have a workable prototype ready by May 2021.

Neuralink implants will be able to stream music directly into your brain and release hormones like serotonin on command, according to Musk.

Speaking to Zdnet, experts warned that brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) could be hijacked in order to "erase or disrupt" your skills or memories.

"BCIs have the potential to change the brain of the user," Javier Mínguez, cofounder of neurotechnology company Bitbrain, said.

"To preserve the physical and mental integrity of the user, BCI systems need to ensure that no unauthorized person can modify their functioning."

The first computer-brain interfaces are making their way to market, offering users the ability to control an app with their mind or keep a close eye on their stress levels.

The technology also has military applications, allowing soldiers to command or communicate with swarms of drones using their thoughts.

What is Neuralink?

Here’s what you need to know…

  • Neuralink is a project that aims to embed computer chips in people's brains
  • The idea is to give humans hyper-intelligence by merging them with artificial intelligence
  • Tiny threads thinner than a human hair would pump information into your noggin
  • It would work a bit like an internet cable, transmitting data in and out at high speeds
  • As well as making us smarter, the project promises to merge us with computers and phones
  • That means you could control your gizmos with your brain
  • Neuralink is bankrolled by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk
  • He's previously said the tech could save us from a machine uprising in future
  • In May 2020, Musk claimed the brain implants could be ready 'within a year'

However, the technology clearly poses serious security concerns.

Hacking into someone's thoughts or memories could become a new form of cyber attack used to spy on people or even gain an advantage on battlefields of the future.

Breaking into someone's brain threatens not only the makeup of their memories, but also the physical wellbeing of their grey matter.

"It's not only at the information level, it could also be the physical damage as well," Dr Sasitharan Balasubramaniam, an expert at the Waterford Institute of Technology, told ZDnet.

"Would [attacks] come in the form of just new information put into the brain?" he added.

"Or would it even go down to the level of damaging neurons that then leads to a rewiring process within the brain that then disrupts your thinking?"

To make BCIs safe, engineers will have to incorporate security technologies used by computers and smartphones today.

That could mean anything from encrypting data to antivirus protection software to keep out prying cyber criminals.

For the time being, BCIs remain in the realm of science fiction, with no company having produced a working model for people yet.

Tesla boss Musk recently claimed that Neuralink will have an early version of its brain implant ready by May 2021.

Speaking on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, the billionaire said the device could one day fix "anything that is wrong with the brain".

Musk wants his brain implants to stop humans being outpaced by artificial intelligence. The aim is to create a full brain interface within 25 years.

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In other news, Elon Musk has plans to make his Starlink satellites "invisible to the naked eye".

Starlink satellites could provide 'ultra-fast internet' to the US and Canada later this year.

And, Elon Musk, Nasa and Tom Cruise want 'to shoot first movie in space’ using SpaceX rockets.

What are your thoughts on Neuralink? Let us know in the comments…

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