Everyone knows that our digital devices are prone to hacker attacks.Tech-savvy people can access your credit card information and PIN codes with relative ease, especially if most of your passwords are literally “password.” The best way to keep sensitive data private is to store it safely in the unhackable fortress that is your brain. That way, nobody could possibly gain access to the information, right?
Not quite. At the USENIX Security Conference 2012, researchers have demonstrated how information can be made easier to extract using simple, off-the-shelf devices. For their demonstration, they used a relatively inexpensive, readily available brain–computer interface (BCI) and their ownmind-reading program. Participants were analyzed without being explicitly told that their brain would be “hacked” in the process.
By reading the electroencephalography (EEG) signals produced by the subjects’ brains, researchers were able to prove that access to private information—PIN codes, credit card data, and so on—can be made measurably easier via consumer-grade BCI devices. While not making such information fully transparent, “the entropy of the private information is decreased on the average by approximately 15 to 40 percent compared to random guessing attacks,” when using BCI.