Aliens could catch computer viruses, says scientist

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

Humans could accidentally send computer viruses to aliens and infect their technology, claims a scientist from Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute.


So, of course I had to make a ranty video about that, and it was hard to avoid referring to Jeff Goldblum in “Independence Day”.

Aliens could catch computer viruses, says scientist | Graham Cluley

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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.

7 comments on “Aliens could catch computer viruses, says scientist”

  1. coyote

    It is a ridiculous concern and your mockery of it is quite amusing to say the least. This is the type of video I like because it is easier to express the thoughts you shared by video (and the way you express it – including body language as well as saying … things… under your breath, for example). I know other people prefer video/audio over text – which is perfectly acceptable – so I think it really is a balancing act for you (I think it would depend on the content/message of the video versus what it would be with text, and comparing/considering what is the better way to get the message across[1] – but that is one opinion of many more, I'm sure). Naturally some have to be text, though (though some might argue this isn't too common).

    [1] Of course, humour is always appreciated, especially when you things can be quite serious/dangerous/critical/etc., too.

  2. David L

    Bravo! Great performance! Laughed so hard,almost cried. This was my first time watching your videos,and I gota say,you are a natural. You would be a great guest on one of the late night talk shows here in the US. Maybe even a skit on Saturday night live. You should have your agent ( (-: ) look into it. Maybe I'll send a suggestion to them.

    Thanks, this was a great way to start my day!

  3. Peter Gregory

    Double-checking my calendar… nope, it's not April 1.

    Clearly this scientist knows NOTHING about computer hardware architecture or operating systems. Hilarious.

  4. Lanerd

    That's quite a stretch , as an example , take " Windows " P C's they are the main target of viruses , yet a P C virus isn't effective against Apple OS's or even Linux …because they are different operating systems , and they are all of Human origin ….either this "Scientist " doesn't understand this or he /she is making assumptions not backed by fact , possibly taking for granted the Alien OS would somehow automatically interface with a unknown code set without protection …… which actually would be pretty insulting to the Aliens because it assumes that they are stupid , the other assumption is that their systems would operate on basically the same fundamentals as our systems , facts which presently are not in evidence ……. making this whole story nothing but conjecture ….

  5. Pete

    Brilliantly done, Graham! This confirms a suspicion I formed some time ago while watching those charmingly murderous Inspector Morse TV shows—namely, that aliens have already landed, and they've taken control of Oxford University.

    Fortunately for the future of humanity, amigo, we have you on the front lines to ensure that we don't take them as seriously as they take themselves. I'll chuckle every time I think of this.

  6. Rich Franks

    How did you keep your face that straight while recording?

    Must be the classic, British "stiff upper lip". :-D

  7. davel

    Assuming aliens use computers. "Computers, Ha Ha, that's so five light years ago" said the (alien) Director of Intergalactic Affairs.

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