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Researchers hacked computer using DNA

Researchers from the University of Washington have successfully infected a computer by encoding malicious software using custom strands of DNA.

At a security symposium in Vancouver, Canada, the researchers explained how they used synthetic DNA to store a malware, and then gained control over the computer by targeting the security loopholes in the software that analyses DNA.

“We designed and created a synthetic DNA strand that contained malicious computer code encoded in the bases of the DNA strand,” said Tadayoshi Kohno, a computer-science professor at the university and a member of the research team.

“When this physical strand was sequenced and processed by the vulnerable program it gave remote control of the computer doing the processing. That is, we were able to remotely exploit and gain full control over a computer using adversarial synthetic DNA.”

They used the four bases in DNA, adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine – A, C, G, and T – to encode their...(continued)
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