Hacking Biological Computers Next?


I read an article today posted on Mercury News how researchers at Stanford have created a biological computer.  The claims this opens the doors for things such as checking for mercury levels up to and including shutting of cancer cells based on how fast they replicate.

While this all is good an promising, something I want to see, I do wonder how it will or could be abused in a similar fashion holes have been found in wireless pacemakers.  Think about it, if you could program cells to function a particular way, such as shutdown, wouldn’t you be able to make a computer that would just shutdown ANY cell after it replicates X number of times?  I see no reasons why not, the primary concern to address is transmission, if it is an easy thing (such as placing the biological computers in the drinking water supply) then it would be a high concern as you could create a biological computer that could sit dormant for a significant time then activate in a relatively short period of time in a large number of individuals.  If it is not (such as requires an injection and is short lived) then the concern is much less.

Something to think about eh?

Creating a Strong Password 101


Most authentication is still based on username and password, personally I feel this is adequate for most of my personal accounts as long as I use a strong password. I do wish MY Bank offered two factor authentication, but alas it does not yet.

So, if a strong password is ALL you have to protect yourself how do you create one and more importantly how do you remember it? Let’s start with creating a strong password…

CREATING A STRONG PASSWORD

  • Pick two or three words that are 10 or more letters in length.
  • Use unrelated words
  • Substitute at least one letter for a number, such as 4 for A or 3 for E.  Do not substitute ALL possible letters for numbers.
  • Add a punctuation.
  • Capitalize at least one letter.

Sound doable?  Now, the real challenge is remembering it.  If you absolutely cannot remember passwords then I suggest using the Password Safe, just make sure your password to access the safe is VERY secure.  This allows you to remember only one password and have access to all your other passwords contained in the safe.  For those of you that  feel up to the challenge try running an installation of TeamPass.  It is what I personally use.  Just make sure to back it up and NEVER change the salt.  You should be able to but it is not supported yet and you will lose ALL of your passwords as well as all passwords for all others.  I suggest not putting this site on the internet.

EXAMPLE 1

  • picture leaf
  • pictur3 l3af
  • pictur3#l3af
  • Pictur3#l3aF

Now what you have to remember….

  • picture#leaf with e’s substituted for 3’s and the first and last letters capitalized. 

EXAMPLE 2

  • space manhole
  • sp4ce m4nhole
  • sp4ce.m4nhole
  • sp4cE.M4nhole

Now what you have to remember….

  • space.manhole with a’s substituted for 4’s and the last letter of the first word and first letter of the last word capitalized.