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Dr. Yair Sharan, Tel Aviv University: "In the future, hackers will penetrate our brains"

"Privacy will disappear in 2030 and hackers will be able to read our thoughts," said Dr. Sharan, director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Analysis and Technological Forecasting at Tel Aviv University, at the CyberSec 2012 conference

Dr. Yair Sharan, Tel Aviv University. Photo: Kobi Kantor, for people and computers
Dr. Yair Sharan, Tel Aviv University. Photo: Kobi Kantor, for people and computers

The article was first published on 14/2 on the People and Computers website

"Today we are talking about a world where our most private secrets can be in the possession of anyone who wants to know. In the future, hackers will not specifically penetrate computer systems but also our minds, the thoughts of each of us," said Dr. Yair Sharan, director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Analysis and Technological Forecasting at Tel Aviv University.

Dr. Sharan spoke at the CyberSec 2012 conference, which was held on Sunday at the Avniu Conference Center in Kiryat Airport, in the production of People and Computers.

He predicted that privacy will disappear in the future. "Imagine the world in 2030, where minds are read and pictures are taken beyond the walls, a world where there may no longer be any point in talking about data protection, because all the information will be hacked anyway," he said.

He also spoke about the threats that exist today and said that "the most disturbing threat among them is the ability of terrorist organizations to penetrate nuclear reactors and cause accidents or nuclear explosions through infiltration of the control and control systems." "In this context, it is important to prepare for a new weapon - robotics," recommended Dr. Sharan. "In the future, the robots will indeed be able to do the housework and take care of children or elderly parents, but they also have the negative side, since the terrorists will also be able to use them. Already today we are witnessing the unbearable ease of purchasing robots and the possibility of attaching explosives and toxic substances to them, and spreading them wherever you want."

Caution - swarms of robots
"You have to be especially careful of swarms of robots," he added. "Each robot in a swarm can be very small and carry very little explosive material, but in large numbers, and with the ability to communicate between the robots themselves and between them and the operator, it is possible to cause great damage to the enemy."

Another area that is a source of concern, according to Dr. Sharan, is nanotechnology. "Today it makes it possible to make any system much smaller than in the world we know. It also enables the development of durable materials and what's worse - materials that cannot be detected by any sensor." In the field of programmed materials, he pointed out that there is a network embedded with tiny computer systems that can change itself on command and said that in the future, "it will be possible to smuggle weapons that look like innocent toys and change their shape after the transition."

"The world of biology is developing in the direction of synthetic biology, that is: the ability to play with biological components like playing with Lego bricks and assemble them into materials with different properties, according to our will. For example, unknown viruses or bacteria," he said. "Imagine that there are viruses that eat silicon and consume electronic products - real viruses, not computer viruses."

Dr. Sharan predicted that "additional concepts that we will become familiar with in the future are bio-hacking and bio-terrorism. Our genome can be penetrated and then we really won't know what privacy is."

"We turned to experts in all these fields throughout Europe and weighed the likelihood of the development of a certain technological field compared to the damage it causes," he added. "The threat in the field of nanotechnology will increase until 2030, after which it will begin to decrease. We still have time to develop defensive measures or to prevent the ability of terrorists to use such technologies." Another field he mentioned is synthetic biology, the threat of which will continue until 2035.

"In addition, there are threats that are unlikely to materialize, but they are the most threatening and their impact, if they materialize, will be high," said Dr. Sharan. "We call this phenomenon 'wild cards'. It is about material headquarters, catalysis in water, chips implanted in the brain, controlled terrorists, robots, human enrichment, robot bands and robots with artificial intelligence."

In conclusion, Dr. Sharan recommended "to pay attention to developing technologies that will enhance or replace the cyber world. If we think a few years in advance, we may have enough means to prevent the dark use of them."


  1. Anonymous (Rod Bauer?)
    The sky is not the limit.
    There are already enough idiots today that can be hacked. If it is through a computer and if it is in any other way.
    It has nothing to do with a quantum computer as you say.
    Every lock can be hacked.
    It is also possible to "hack" a brain through suggestion, and it was already done a millennium ago.
    There is nothing new here on this topic. What is new is the technology used to do this.

  2. I actually tend to believe that this is possible in the future
    It must be a combination of computing and science, something like a quantum computer
    That he can hack into any computer and more than that, he can hack into the brain
    But the sky is the limit

  3. I've already made myself an aluminum hat (a Farday cage for the brain), a spray against the swarms of robots (canned carrot juice) and a bat that kills nano-something...
    All in all Guy is right and not only in the context of religious preachers but in general...
    In addition to that, I don't see what it makes a difference if we are bombed by a flying robot or an overlapping Iranian...
    In short, there is nothing to worry about, just hope that in the end they might find a cure for stupidity...

  4. Aren't preachers actually hackers taking over people's minds?
    If the brain is like a computer and thoughts are like software running on a computer, then anyone who uses manipulation to control our thoughts is like a hacker who controls a computer

  5. Yuval, it's not your fault, it's the fault of scumbags who desecrated legitimate words. In addition, I am abroad at a conference (Sebit, Hanover in Germany) and Michael is busy, so it takes me time to release.

  6. R.H. Rafai.M
    I'm here, but you don't know how long. Lately the system has been brutally blocking me, and it seems to me like a very subtle hint

  7. Yuval and R.H. are still here, the last Kamila and Ehud-don't know, Michal Rothschild repented and probably moved to Bnei Brak..

  8. wow I remember the time when the commenters were intelligent commenters, and it was interesting to read the comments as much (and sometimes even more) than the articles. Where did everyone go?

  9. Hello to all black people.
    As already mentioned in the comments here, it sounds like a collection of books from the Ministry of Education and Culture and the things are not really new.
    Those who want to see brain hacks on the screen are welcome to get GiTS or Ghost in The Shell for you.
    An anime series (GiTS SAC) and 3 films, the first of which the Cohen brothers, the writers of The Matrix, admitted they had seen before writing the script. Yes, the original Matrix is ​​the first GiTS movie.
    In principle, the anime series describes a future Japan in a cyberpunk world with cyborg bodies that contain human brains and break into people's brains there, share thoughts and the like.
    Science to me is the way to discover the truth behind things. The use of knowledge for good or bad is already in the hands of the user/person. It is impossible to return the bottle after you find out, but on the other hand, without current science, people would not live to be 100 years old or more, and it is likely that there would not be more than 7 billion people alive today because there was no way to feed them. Not to mention diseases that have been partially eradicated and innovative ideas that have not yet matured into new antibiotic drugs that disrupt, for example, the "dialogue" between bacteria, preventing their cooperation and thus stopping the disease and jumping over the resistance barrier of the bacteria to the current drugs.
    Will be interesting!

  10. In order to hack you will need to already have the skills of the genius and disturbed hacker personality. The existing personality (that of the tormented poet) will simply not be up to the task.

  11. Are you afraid of hacking? Wasn't it in that magical time that everyone would exchange personalities like they exchange text messages today. The first change in your new personality will be removing the unfounded fear of hacking. And in general, you are going to install five billion new neurons in your brain, who should you buy them from? Intel, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple or IBM? And maybe it's even worth downloading some in open source?

    I hope I calmed you down. If you're still worried, you can download the genius and deranged hacker personality ($99 per month on sale!) and treat all the viruses implanted in your brain, and plant some in your friends.

  12. Hahaha .. to penetrate the brain, it's already happening now, and it's already happened before ... and you don't have to be a hacker to do it .. you have to get to it, and one of the ways is to become a hacker .. which includes what is behind the way of learning and the method of perception and recognition of the hackers in addition Daily practice and brain exercise, but you don't have to be a hacker for that! . In any case, I would describe it more as Big Brother, and Big Brother has always existed..

  13. SKYNET is right,
    All you have to do is look at the variety of effects that different biological viruses create on the human body, and look at the latest advances in genetic engineering, and realize that in the future we will be able to use these effects to our advantage or our detriment, and also change these genes to create new effects.
    For example, a virus that attacks the nervous system, change its genes so that it affects the nerves in the way we want.
    In addition, science or even religion are only tools for human use, so science should not be thought of as "harmful". We humans decide whether it will be used as a medicine or a weapon. Genetic engineering can create new drugs, just as it can create new weapons.

  14. I am an aker who reveals the thoughts of God in every matter and matter through the syrupim. Soon the books "The Goldsmith" will be published
    See in him the wonders of the Creator's thinking and return. Creator = in light.

  15. The discovery of the brain = the true living being = the savior of the dead. (The source is in the soon-to-be published book)

  16. And there is also the god virus, a virus that also causes people to crash planes into buildings.
    A particularly aggressive virus that replicates and spreads itself at the speed of light.

  17. Laugh, laugh, but already today it is possible

    There are viruses and biological bacteria that have been doing this job for hundreds of thousands of years
    They secrete substances directly into the receptors of the brain
    Disrupt his normal work, and create for a person different behavior and thought patterns.

  18. Ran
    You claim there is no danger
    From atomic war, from global warming, from world hunger, from chemical biological warfare and many more
    Or you claim that they are not an outcome of medicine, science and technology.

  19. Most of the article is very old news.
    Already six years ago I read a position paper of the American army - which came out a few years before - which talks about priority for the development of swarms of robots, including robotics for frontline warfare, reconnaissance, intelligence gathering, etc.
    In my opinion, they have already had tactical capabilities in the field for several years.

    Regarding hacking the brain - the road is very, very long, even if someone succeeds in doing the hacking, it is not certain that they will be able to decipher the thoughts into something coherent. What's more, when there will be such a technology if at all - those who will use it will not use it on a large scale, because what can be done - the thoughts of most of us are not interested in the scornful end of the burning bush...
    There are few individuals worth investing such an effort in, especially for intelligence or industrial espionage.

  20. This future is already present, although not necessarily from the telepathic direction. There are truth drugs, those that are injected into the interrogated and make them "spill" the whole truth. This technology, obviously, has already been perfected for drinks, sprays and the like, and we're just not told about it.

  21. What he says is roughly on the level of those who say that the world was created 6000 years ago by a wizard flying in the sky.

  22. There have always been dangers to humanity, but only from the forces of nature - on Earth and beyond. Today it is known that the developments of science and technology have added existential dangers, and it is unnecessary to detail them here. The fact that science does not operate within a global framework or plan, even if it has military, economic, personal, national motives and more, has apparently contributed to the creation of new existential dangers for humanity,

  23. Technologically, robotic developments with military implications are advancing very quickly because of the American DARPA project and other projects. Israel has made great progress in the field of remote-controlled robots, with semi-autonomous capabilities, and among them the flying robots: drones, drones and mini-drones, mainly as is known for military uses. Recently, there has been rapid progress in the field of remotely controlled motorized robots, led by the floating robots (tiny robotic patrol ships) and the crawling robots (snake robots for camouflaged observations and entry into places that are particularly difficult to access).
    Also robot swarms are something that is already just around the corner as there are rapid advances in the ability to miniaturize flying robots. The huge advantage in these areas for Israel is the ability to reduce the risk of our soldiers and fighters on the battlefield. Robots to patrol and guard, robots to attack from the air and from the ground and at sea.

  24. It's all rosy dreams.. Who's even sure we'll survive until then. The oil is running out soon and a population explosion is fast approaching. Religion is becoming radicalized in increasing parts of the masses and on the other hand the television leaves us all in a zombie state and the entire humanity is more and more prone to violence.

  25. bullshit! "In the future, hackers will not exactly penetrate computer systems but also our minds, the thoughts of each of us."
    It sounds so childish and unprofessional. From science fiction fear. come on…
    It's just like in the Steven Spielberg movies from 1980 they showed that in 2015 flying cars will fly around the neighborhood and replace all the regular cars.

  26. Guys, I would respond to what you said…..
    But it's just not worth it.
    I have no words to describe your mistakes.

    have a good day.

  27. It seems that the same science created by mankind,
    constitutes a danger to its continued existence.

  28. As far as brain penetration goes, it seems to me that the apocalyptic predictions have no basis

  29. I suggest building a computer that will fight all these viruses and worms on the network
    A computer that will detect virus attacks, and destroy them.

  30. One can imagine how many thoughts a man can think. With an educated guess, anyone can score 80% for thinking.

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