Google Glass QR vulnerability eerily mirrors 'Snow Crash'

Summary:Sci-Fi author Neal Stephenson wrote about "hacking the brainstem" in his 1992 novel "Snow Crash"...

Liz Ganes at All Things D reports:

Google Glass security vulnerability that allowed an outsider to take control of the wearable computing device via QR code has been fixed…

… since Glass allows users to connect to Wi-Fi by taking a picture of a QR code, it’s possible that someone could trick a Glass wearer to unwittingly join an access point that allowed someone else to remotely control Glass and to stream the display via Bluetooth.

Google Glass Had a Vulnerability for Being Taken Over Via QR Code - Liz Gannes - News - AllThingsD

This scenario is reminiscent of Neal Stephenson's seminal 1992 science fiction novel "Snow Crash" in which the protagonist (Hiro Protagonist) battles a drug/virus that infects people's brains. The viral code attacks through the brainstem via linguistics. Hacking the brainstem – a brilliant concept.

Victims look at virtual business cards that contain an image that just seems harmless "static"  as in an untuned TV set and become infected.  QR codes look like static (below) but they contain computer instructions.

Many people have QR codes on their business cards, therefore looking at them via Google Glass creates a point of infection that directly mirrors the novel.

What other vulnerabilities are there via QR codes? Smartphones could potentially be hacked in a similar way, maybe they already are. 

It's worth reading, or re-reading Snow Crash. Even though it was written in 1992, it is an incredibly astute predictor of the future and its media wars. 

Topics: Google

About

In May 2004, Tom Foremski became the first journalist to leave a major newspaper, the Financial Times, to make a living as a full-time journalist blogger. He writes the popular news blog Silicon Valley Watcher--reporting on the business of Silicon Valley.Tom arrived in San Francisco in 1984, and has covered US technology markets for leadi... Full Bio

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