Security flaw could manipulate scientists into creating viruses

Cyber-security researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have discovered a cyber attack which could allow hackers to remotely manipulate laboratory scientists into creating viruses and toxins.

Medical researchers use synthetic DNA for a variety of reasons, one of which is to develop immunogens in order to create vaccines, which is especially popular at the moment with a race to develop COVID-19 vaccines. Researchers at Ben-Gurion University have developed and tested an end-to-end attack that could change the data on bioengineer’s computers in order to replace short DNA sub-strings with malicious code.

If a malicious actor wanted to spread a virus or toxin they would be able to do so by using a simple trojan horse and some hidden code to turn the medicine to malice.

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