Fortinet sees future where computer virus and biological virus combine

Mark Raby - Mar 19, 2012
Fortinet sees future where computer virus and biological virus combine

What we know today as a “computer virus” might eventually evolve into the point where it’s able to affect human biology. And no, we’re not talking about a forgettable 1999 Jamie Lee Curtis flick. In one of those cases where science fiction could turn into fiction, researchers legitimately see a future where someone who’s able to make a computer virus today is able to make a biological weapon tomorrow.

That’s if you believe the futuristic warnings of security company Fortinet. At a recent security conference, Black Hat Europe, the company’s senior manager of threat research Guillame Lovet discussed what we might be dealing with in the not too distance future. He said there has been research into distinguishing the differences – and similarities – between the way computers fight viruses and the way humans fight viruses. After all, it is no mistake that we use the same word for both cases.

“We came to wonder if there can be some kind of convergence between human viruses and computer viruses. It may sound like a scenario for a bad Hollywood movie, but it is not such a stupid question,” Lovet said. Fortinet actually penned a research paper on the subject, noting that you can boil down a biological disease into a series of formulas and coding. One researcher even compared a Denial of Service attach to HIV, since both aim to overload a system. Is it still just high-concept dialogue or is this an actual threat? At least someone is trying to solve that question.

[via Infoworld]

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