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Submission + - Researchers Find 'Mind-Control' Gaming Headsets Can Leak Users' Secrets (

Sparrowvsrevolution writes: At the Usenix security conference in Seattle last week, a group of researchers from the University of California at Berkeley, Oxford University and the University of Geneva presented a study that hints at the darker side of a future where we control computers with our minds rather than a mouse. In a study of 28 subjects wearing brain-machine interface (BMI) headsets built by companies like Neurosky and Emotiv and marketed to consumers for gaming and attention exercises, the researchers found they were able to extract hints directly from the electrical signals of the test subjects’ brains that partially revealed private information like the location of their homes, faces they recognized and even their credit card PINs.

For the moment, the experimental theft of users' private information from brain signals is more science fiction than a real security vulnerability, since it requires tricking the victim into thinking about the target information at a certain time, and still doesn't work reliably. (Though much better than random.) But as BMI gets more sophisticated and mainstream, the researchers say their study should serve as a warning about privacy issues around the technology of mind-control.

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Researchers Find 'Mind-Control' Gaming Headsets Can Leak Users' Secrets

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