Biohacking or wetware hacking is the practice of engaging biology with the hacker ethic. It encompasses a wide spectrum of practices and movements one of which are the “grinders” who design and install do-it-yourself body-enhancements such as magnetic implants.
It sounds rather “out there”, right? But it apparently isn’t, as Wahle decided to demonstrate. You only need a good stomach. In order to show that an implanted NFC chip can be sneaked passed scanners at the airport and other high-security locations, he had to not only acquire a chip designed to normally be injected into cattle but also needed to use a needle that was rather big and made him want to vomit.
Said chip has a NFC (Near Field Communications) antenna which pings Android phones that are in close vicinity and then asks them to open a link. If followed, the link will lead to a malicious file which, once installed, will establish a connection to a remote computer from which the owner can carry out further exploits. With the right amount of social engineering this could become a real danger.
“In Miami, Wahle and Soto are planning to detail the steps hackers will need to go through to add implants to their arsenal, including how to acquire the hardware and program the chip. Could this be the beginnings of the democratisation of malevolent biohacking?” writes the Forbes magazine in its article. And security consultant Rod Soto adds: “This is just the tip of the iceberg … anyone can do this.”