Biohacking your body can be really painful… and not hugely useful

Body hack backtrack.

Biohacking your body can be really painful... and not hugely useful

BBC News writes about the phenomenon of body hacking, where people choose to augment their body… with technology.

Turns out (surprise surprise) that the outcome of such biohacking is not all positive, as Lepht Anonym describes:

“The magnets in my fingers really, really hurt. They hurt so much that your vision goes white for a bit. Really, really painful.”

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The magnets allow her to sense electromagnetic radiation so she can tell if a device is on or off, whether a microwave is running and identify where power lines are. All of which, she admits, is “not hugely useful”.

She also has a chip under her skin that lets her interact with her phone and unlock doors.

Last August, we invited security researcher Scott Helme onto the “Smashing Security” podcast, where he described how he had an NFC chip implanted inside his hand which apparently means he doesn’t have to carry his office keycard around with him any longer.

More recently, as you can hear below, technology journalist David McClelland came on the podcast and shared the story of Danish firm BiChip that says it will allow cryptocurrency payments simply by waving your hand over a reader.

Smashing Security #060: 'Meltdown, Spectre, and personal devices in the White House'

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Pocket Casts | Other... | RSS
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Having a rice-grain sized RFID/NFC chip implanted into your hand is one thing, putting magnets under your fingertips is – in my opinion – another. And I have no doubt that some “grinders” (as they’re known) go much further than that.

But I think there’s a more fundamental reason why you may not need to hack your body to augment it with technology, and it’s this…

You already have astonishing technology that is surgically attached to your person. And that’s your smartphone.

What’s that you’re saying? Your smartphone is not actually implanted into your body? Well, maybe technically it isn’t, but it’s as good as.

After all, you carry it with you everywhere, And I mean everywhere, and most of us get the jitters if we’re not carrying our phone.

Maybe I’m a curmudgeon, but I do wonder why anyone would augment their body when there’s something that – chances are – they have with them all the time anyway. And a smartphone is probably a heck of a lot more useful than most of these biohacking implants.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

2 comments on “Biohacking your body can be really painful… and not hugely useful”

  1. Jim

    I wonder if these people have got the idea from playing Deus Ex: human revolution and mankind divided?

  2. LudwigVonHauser

    I would beg to differ as a electrical engineer and a owner of a car I can use a magnet to detect if a system is on or off and unlock my car with my chip with no need of keys or apps

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