Hackers seem to discover new ways to gain unwanted entry into your digital devices almost every day, and while a great deal of digital security coverage is conjecture, sometimes hackers can show off some scary real-world examples.
A security expert, for instance, is now planning to show off how he can hack into Android phones using a small NFC (near-field communication) chip implanted in his hand.
Seth Wahle is an engineer at APA Wireless and has figured out a way to surreptitiously download exploits onto phones in the wild. And beyond the fact that he’s using an physical implant, the actual technology behind the hacking is quite simple, Forbes reports.
Wahle is set to show off a research paper and presentation about his biometric implant at the Hack Miami conference next month. He says he can exhibit how his NFC antenna can connect to Android phones, ask them to open a link, and connect to the phone via a remote computer if they choose to open it.
This could allow hackers to do numerous things with the compromised device. Wahle also showed Forbes how he could remotely force the Android phone to take a picture.
The actual hack involved uses simple social engineering by asking phone owners to open a malicious link. But the interesting thing is that malicious link is coming from a tiny implanted device that could theoretically be deployed anywhere.
As odd as this may seem, biohacking may be the next hacker frontier. Already, there have been reports of hackers electing to implant themselves with connected devicessince 2012. A UK professor named Kevin Warwick has beenleading the brigade, and has had a microchip implanted into his arm. He’s also been working to trumpet artificial intelligence research.
Wahle’s spectacle highlights the nefarious possibilities of biohacking. For instance, a small implant such as his can bypass airport security. Additionally, his hack isn’t all that complicated (beyond the actual implanting, of course), meaning even novice hackers may begin trying to perform these hacks.
As Rod Soto, who will be co-presenting with Wahle, explained to Forbes, “This is just the tip of the iceberg.”
The Hack Miami conference happens May 15-17 and will feature the work of Wahle, Soto, and many other hackers and researchers.