Skynet or Big Brother?

We all know about computer viruses/malware. Many of these annoying programs slow our computer down, link to other websites, steal our data, and even completely destroy the computers OS. Most of the time we know what we did, whether we admit it or not. It could be something as simple as clicking a link to a untrusted site, surfing naughty sites, or trying to find free stuff. We all know most of these behaviors run the risk of infection. But what if there are other viruses that work in much more stealthy manners? What if one infected computer could infect another computer without even being networked to it, no internet connection between the two, or even wifi?

Let me introduce you to “badBIOS” as it is being called. It is a true nightmare to any computer user, but not in the way you might think. This beauty of a virus has the capability to utilize one computer’s speakers to transmit packet data to another computer’s microphone, without the need for a true wifi, lan, internet access, etc. Let that sink in for a moment. The computers are literally talking to each other using audio. These are not audio conversations in the sense that we can hear, but they are utilizing frequencies which can be detected.

The repercussions of this are extreme. Think of how many devices are in your home or place of work which have a speaker/microphone. In this day and age, everyone has a cell phone, with a vast majority of them being smart phones. We also have tablets, laptops, desktops, smart tvs, gaming consoles, and even our cars have microphones and speakers built in. What if a virus like this could spread thru any of these devices? Even people/companies that run private networks cannot fully protect themselves from a menace such as this.

But I think the bigger question that needs to be asked is this, “Who made it and why?” Is big brother so desperate to spy on us that it would create a virus that you cannot hide from? I would not put it past them for sure. But one problem is that they would be almost as vulnerable as the rest of us in this case. So if not them, then who? Are computers secretly linking up autonomously in a “sky-net” style of computer takeover? I would not count that possibility out either.

Regardless of the who or why, we ALL should note just how attached we are to our electronics. Imagine how our life would be if we could not trust any electronic device. So think about that as you are reading this article. Imagine every electronic device near you at this moment talking, secretly plotting against you. Whether its big brother monitoring your every move, or all the computers in the world preparing to takeover, this is not something we should lightly dismiss.

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/171949-new-type-of-audio-malware-transmits-through-speakers-and-microphones

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24582-can-a-computer-virus-communicate-via-your-speakers.html#.VT1nOyFVhBc

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/10/31/meet-badbios-the-mysterious-mac-and-pc-malware-that-jumps-airgaps/

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