August 23, 2014
Mobile Phone Ransomware: Dark Portents For Cyborgs

Hackers are planting bugs on mobile phones and demanding ransoms to get them removed.

The continued successes of virus and malware authors do not bode well for cyborgs. Some people are eager to become cyborgs, mixtures of flesh and powerful computing machines with perhaps robotic extensions thrown in. Well, if someone ever offers to implant an AI computer in your skull ask them how often one of these computers get taken over by hackers. Imagine losing control of your body because your embedded computer gets hacked and suddenly your body walks itself to your bank to get all your money to send to a foreign address. Or, your body just hands the money to someone who shows up just at that moment when you walk out of the bank.

At the same time, the development of effective gene therapies and cell therapies will create a baseline of biotechnologies which would be used to substantially alter one's personality and instinctive desires against one's will.

Maintaining autonomy and control over oneself could become much more difficult in the future.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2014 August 23 12:18 AM 


Comments
Ronald Brak said at August 23, 2014 9:38 AM:

The risk of being hacked is exactly the sort of technological danger the nice man at my church who takes 10% of my paycheck warns against.

James Bowery said at August 23, 2014 7:08 PM:

Far more relevant than the 10% hackers from your local church -- who at least have the virtue of not terminating your bloodline -- are the hackers of our nervous systems in media and academia who have successfully enslaved the Nation of Settlers to not only turn over their daughters as sex slaves in urban areas, but to welcome a torrent of immigrants to take the place of the children that those sex-enslaved daughters won't have by the men that would have sired them if they'd all stayed faithful to the parasitism of the relatively benign preachers who only occasionally cuckolded their male parishioners.

Wolf-Dog said at August 23, 2014 8:06 PM:

In this case, what is the best way of avoiding cellphone malware? What kind of cellphone strategy is recommended?

How about Microsoft phones? Maybe the Windows has more antivirus software available, and therefore Microsoft cellphones might be safer?

destructure said at August 24, 2014 7:41 PM:

Well said, James.

Ronald Brak said at August 25, 2014 9:04 AM:

Well said? I don't even know what he said. Personally one thing I can't help but notice is the lack of sex slaves in our urban areas. Not that I go looking for them, mind you. But they do seem rather thin on the ground.

James Bowery said at August 25, 2014 9:28 AM:

Ronald, you aren't thinking as an evolutionary strategist:

Let's say your metabolism is geared toward acquiring calories (and other life-essentials) via, say, money and there are others who are geared toward acquiring calories (and other life-essentials) via, say, direct relations to land. To make things more interesting let's add on a wild and crazy condition that makes absolutely no evolutionary sense: You like fucking women. One of the things you can do is establish high population density environments -- where cultivated land is at a premium -- and get women from the cultivation culture to _voluntarily_ move there en masse so that you not only have an unnaturally high fertile-age female to male ratio, but the females are ill-adapted to acquiring calories (and other life-essentials) from that environment. Indeed, they have to acquire _money_ in order to acquire those life essentials.

Hell, why bother with these idiots....

James Bowery said at August 25, 2014 9:34 AM:

Just for shits and giggles, I wonder what you think is going to happen, Ronald, when the Nation of Settlers starts taking down the grain transportation infrastructure in response to their being destroyed by the Nation of Immigrants. How exactly does that play out in your mind?

Ronald Brak said at August 25, 2014 10:09 PM:

Nope, still going right over my head I'm afraid.

Brett Bellmore said at August 27, 2014 3:43 AM:

The basic problem here, I think, is that the phone company's business models depend on pre-compromising your phone's security for their own purposes. So they can lock you into their network for the duration of your contract, so that they can push software onto your phone even if you don't want it. The hackers just take advantage of this.

The phones can't be secure so long as the people selling them to you insist on installing multiple back doors. And, I suppose, the government insists on their doing that, too. It isn't as though the NSA would want AT&T selling phones they couldn't hack into.

I mean, I've got this "unlocked" smart phone, which I purchased from Amazon, and use with a pay as you go plan. And, short of rooting it and risking turning it into an expensive brick, it's got scads of apps on it I can't uninstall, many of them from some Portuguese telecom the phone was originally set up for. So I couldn't even use them if I wanted, speaking English as I do.

However, not every country's telecoms use this business model. So there are alternatives. Buy a phone in the Philippines, and get a pay as you go contract here, and your phone company won't have any particular privileges on your phone.

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