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Researchers Find 'Mind-Control' Gaming Headsets Can Leak Users' Secrets

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the and-whatever-you-do,-don't-touch-the-reverse-button dept.

Privacy 107

Sparrowvsrevolution writes "At the Usenix security conference in Seattle last week, a group of researchers from the University of California at Berkeley, Oxford University and the University of Geneva presented a study that hints at the darker side of a future where we control computers with our minds rather than a mouse. In a study of 28 subjects wearing brain-machine interface headsets built by companies like Neurosky and Emotiv and marketed to consumers for gaming and attention exercises, the researchers found they were able to extract hints directly from the electrical signals of the test subjects' brains that partially revealed private information like the location of their homes, faces they recognized and even sequences of numbers they recognized. For the moment, the experimental theft of users' private information from brain signals is more science fiction than a real security vulnerability, since it requires tricking the victim into thinking about the target information at a certain time, and still doesn't work reliably. (Though much better than random chance.) But as BMI gets more sophisticated and mainstream, the researchers say their study should serve as a warning about privacy issues around the technology of such interfaces."

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If you thought nothing wrong... (4, Interesting)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 2 years ago | (#41022847)

...then you have nothing to hide!

I guess in the future, lucid dreaming will be mandatory learning a young age so we are forced to control our dreams to prevent deviancy.

Re:If you thought nothing wrong... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023079)

In the future, people will be communicating via technology-enabled telepathy. As commonplace as cellphones are now.

Re:If you thought nothing wrong... (4, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023139)

Technology-enabled telepathy is actually what I call cellphones today : you hold a talisman, another talisman rings and transmits speech. Just implant it if you want, but the magic is already done.

Re:If you thought nothing wrong... (1)

CodeHxr (2471822) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023425)

Not entirely telepathy, IMO. It still requires actual speech. It's functionally equivalent to telepathy in that another person knows what you intended to convey, but the requirement of actual physical speech brings it back over the line.

Re:If you thought nothing wrong... (2)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023575)

Cellphones transmit sound, and speech is just a subcategory of that.

When I said "telepathy", I meant what a person is *thinking*. This could include spoken words, but it could also include what is being seen, or even imagined or remembered.

Re:If you thought nothing wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41023771)

So his totem is a cellphone. Not very original at all... I think we have everything we need here, Mr. Cobb!

Re:If you thought nothing wrong... (4, Insightful)

N0Man74 (1620447) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023849)

Technology-enabled telepathy is actually what I call cellphones today : you hold a talisman, another talisman rings and transmits speech. Just implant it if you want, but the magic is already done.

You misunderstand the meaning of the word. Telepathy is transference of thought or experience. It isn't simply the transfer of voice, words, or even expression of ideas. The roots would be "tele" and "pathe", which would translate as "distant" and "experience" respectively. For your cell phone, I think "distant voice" would be far more accurate, or "telephone"...

Though, smart phones with cameras might also fall under "distant sight", or... "television".

Re:If you thought nothing wrong... (1)

VanGarrett (1269030) | more than 2 years ago | (#41024207)

Yes, but we are speaking English, not Latin. In English, Telepathy refers specifically to the direct transference of thought messages from one mind to another mind, without first traveling through intermediate mediums such as text or speech, perhaps even disregarding the need of language. To suggest that using a cellphone is a form of telepathy, is much the same as suggesting that shouting to a person across a large room from you is a form of telepathy. While this is apparently true for the definition of "telepathy" that you present, but this definition is not usefully distinguished from another established English term, "communication," which simply means to convey an idea or concept from one person to any number of other people over any range by any means or medium.

The concept of "Technology-enabled telepathy" therefore requires that one person be able to exchange thoughts with another person directly, with only the technology as an intermediate medium.

Re:If you thought nothing wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41027391)

You're actually agreeing with the parent poster. Stop making it sound like you're arguing. You're not agreeing with the GP.

Re:If you thought nothing wrong... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#41027481)

... but... but... everybody's supposed to argue!

This is Slashdot!

And that is the difference between science and woo (1)

aepervius (535155) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023987)

Woo imagine stuff, telepathy, speaking with the dead, chasing the bad spirit away, science and engineering instead find solutions : mobile phone, mass storage memory, medicine.

Re:If you thought nothing wrong... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41023163)

I guess in the future, lucid dreaming will be mandatory learning a young age so we are forced to control our dreams to prevent deviancy.

Newspeak has a word for something like that: crimestop.

Re:If you thought nothing wrong... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023361)

I guess in the future, lucid dreaming will be mandatory learning a young age

And we'll have a new form of entertainment. [wikipedia.org]

Its about marketing not crime ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#41024381)

If you thought nothing wrong then you have nothing to hide!

Its about marketing not crime. Your browser shows you A and then B, or your video game shows you A and then B, etc. The parts of your brain correlated with "wants" shows more activity during B. Targeted marketing starts delivering ads related to B.

This technology may not be accurate enough for a court of law but marketing does not need that level of accuracy.

Re:If you thought nothing wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41024625)

I was one of those lucid dream nuts for a while. I gave up on it simply because the damn lucid dreams Dont recharge your batteries like real sleep.

Re:If you thought nothing wrong... (4, Funny)

WTFmonkey (652603) | more than 2 years ago | (#41024705)

That, or Faraday-cage helmets will be all the fashion rage...

Re:If you thought nothing wrong... (1)

HeX314 (570571) | more than 2 years ago | (#41030427)

I prefer to militarize my subconscious just in case someone tries to steal my secrets in a dream.

So you better.. (2)

second_coming (2014346) | more than 2 years ago | (#41022871)

take off the headset before going to the ATM :)

Re:So you better.. (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023015)

hell, with these "privacy concerns", you better take off the headset before using facebook or even google!

Re:So you better.. (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41023029)

And then somebody will make a law where it will be illegal to *not* use the headset!

Re:So you better.. (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#41024089)

hell, with these "privacy concerns", you better take off the headset before using facebook or even google!

If you're using facebook, then privacy probably isn't important to you. Just leave it on.

Re:So you better.. (2)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 2 years ago | (#41024629)

You know that it is possible to use facebook without sacrificing too much in the way of privacy and personal details.

1. don't put much (or any) personal details up on your page. I think mine knows the city and state I currently live in, the city and state I was born in, who I'm married to, and my birthday. that's it. FB doesn't have my detailed address or phone numbers. It doesn't know where I went to school. It doesn't know where I work or have worked. It doesn't know what I'm interested in. I'm a member of no "groups". I don't "like" any companies, brands, or corporations. I run no apps.

2. noscript and other addons means FB doesn't get to snoop on my browsing habits elsewhere.

FB doesn't know anything about me that isn't public record already. Small price to pay for what is, when you think about it, probably the most underappreciated interpersonal communication tool ever developed. (which also makes you sad to see how it is used, when you think even further about said topic)

Re:So you better.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41024887)

Then, why the hell are u using facebook???

Oh, yeah, to peep ppeopla that don't give a fuck about their privacy.
You're like a torrent leecher.

Re:So you better.. (1)

SpanglerIsAGod (2052716) | more than 2 years ago | (#41028063)

You should read the last sentence he wrote. That answers your question.

Re:So you better.. (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#41024517)

The Google glasses you shouldn't wear in front of an ATM.

I don't see the risk of wearing one of these helms to the ATM, well no actual risk, just paranoia. There is more of a risk of someone putting the helm on you and flashing random numbers in front of you until they get your PIN.

Ve had Vays off making you talk... (2, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#41022877)

But now ve hav vays only of collectink unemployment...

For chrissakes... (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#41022897)

...don't tell Miniluv.

Meanwhile, on Twitter and Facebook... (5, Insightful)

QilessQi (2044624) | more than 2 years ago | (#41022989)

...people voluntarily reveal private information like the location of their homes, what they had for breakfast, favorite sexual positions, etc.

Re:Meanwhile, on Twitter and Facebook... (2)

Seumas (6865) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023095)

If you don't use Facebook and Twitter, you are suspicious and may be a terrorist, serial killer, etc.

If you don't participate in the new generation of mind-control(and reading) devices, you are suspicious and may be a terrorist, serial killer, etc.

Re:Meanwhile, on Twitter and Facebook... (2)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023213)

Or you may be from section 9...

you mean like magnotta's facebook page (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41023847)

ya know where he'd post mutilated cats and tortured animals , yea we need all be like that

Re:Meanwhile, on Twitter and Facebook... (4, Insightful)

Loughla (2531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023129)

I'm not certain why this is modded funny instead of insightful. We have been programmed by popular media and life in general to devalue privacy.

We've been taught that the only people who need privacy are terrorists or pedophiles.

So, why would anyone need to go through the trouble of reading our minds when we've been pretty well conditioned to just hand out our personal identifiers without thought?

It seems to me that if I need to know where you live, what your passwords are, and what you had for breakfast, I just make a NEW AND IMPROVED SUPER FUN SOCIAL MEDIA POWERED GAME!!!

Re:Meanwhile, on Twitter and Facebook... (5, Interesting)

tgd (2822) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023297)

I'm not certain why this is modded funny instead of insightful. We have been programmed by popular media and life in general to devalue privacy.

Actually, you've been programmed by the media into believing privacy is something historically "normal". As a general rule in human history, privacy has been totally foreign. People always knew what their tribe, hamlet, neighborhood or building were up to. There wasn't an expectation of any sort of privacy, for anything from actions, to sexual activities, to hygeine. It just simply didn't happen.

Privacy, as a popular expectation, has a lot more to do with manipulating people. Shame is a powerful method of control. When society convinces you that you should be embarassed about something, the person who knows it gains a lot of power over you. If everyone knew it, there's no power. Shame, and the associated need for a concept of privacy, were constructs that arise over and over as ways of controlling a population.

Re:Meanwhile, on Twitter and Facebook... (1)

QilessQi (2044624) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023501)

You're basically right: as I understand it, in America around either pre-Colonial or Colonial times, you were expected to keep your windows open (or at least unshuttered and with curtains open) so that neighbors could peek in and make sure you weren't up to anything ungodly. Failure to do so would have been regarded as suspicious.

But there was still shame in those days, despite the expected lack of privacy. You could easily be shamed for what you did right out in the open. The concepts of shame and privacy have existed since people started wearing pants.

   

Re:Meanwhile, on Twitter and Facebook... (1)

captjc (453680) | more than 2 years ago | (#41024497)

I would have figured it was because there was no such thing as an electric fan, air conditioner, common forms of odor control outside of expensive incense and oils, or soundproofing. Soundproofing is kind of a prerequisite for home privacy. If people can hear you doing something they might just as well see you doing it, especially if one of the many town gossips hear you. It also helps if most homes had multiple bedrooms, much less multiple rooms, which from what I read most colonial homes did not. Actually, from what I have read you were lucky if you had a separate bed. Good luck with privacy when everyone in the family shares the same bed!

Re:Meanwhile, on Twitter and Facebook... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41024675)

Along those lines, the colonials didn't bathe much. You think a dirty homeless guy stinks? What about some colonial wearing several layers of clothes that haven't been washed in months. We were the savages not the indians.

Re:Meanwhile, on Twitter and Facebook... (3, Interesting)

kaiser423 (828989) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023635)

Shame is a powerful method of control. When society convinces you that you should be embarassed about something, the person who knows it gains a lot of power over you. If everyone knew it, there's no power. Shame, and the associated need for a concept of privacy, were constructs that arise over and over as ways of controlling a population.

This is an important note to make. It's really the pass/fail criteria behind DoD security clearances (barring other big issues). They don't necessarily care that you slept with another dude in college or smoke some Marijuana or did X or did Y. They care about whether that knowledge can be used to blackmail/shame you into revealing secrets. If you admit it up front and have no problem with everyone in the world knowing that you did that, then they don't care either. But if you're a straight arrow and you're so absolutely ashamed of the time that you took an extra-long lunch break, but still charged normal hours then they're going to think twice about you. It's all about there being nothing to shame/blackmail/bribe you with in your background (and not having erratic/bad judgement). Not about how goody two-shoes you are.

In this sense, social media makes the vetting process easier. Easy to check on your judgement good/bad, and easy to see if you're ashamed of something or not (aka, did you/would you post about it).

Re:Meanwhile, on Twitter and Facebook... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41023839)

The ironic thing is that there is somewhat a remedy for that: Acting. I volunteer at a festival, so I can actually get outside the server room, and one tenant is, "if you can't hide it, paint it red."

So, learning from there, it is hard to get ashamed of anything because when an actor on site, SOMEONE will have a camera when you make a mistake, and someone will have a picture of it on FB... and eventually your cow-orkers will see it.

You get to the point where you end up reducing the things you are ashamed of, so if there is a blackmail attempt, oftentimes, one can laugh it off. For example, someone tried saying that a picture of me wouldn't be good if people who worked with me saw it. I pointed to the fact that the exact picture was my profile one.

Re:Meanwhile, on Twitter and Facebook... (1)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | more than 2 years ago | (#41025265)

As a general rule in human history, privacy has been totally foreign. People always knew what their tribe, hamlet, neighborhood or building were up to. There wasn't an expectation of any sort of privacy, for anything from actions, to sexual activities, to hygeine. It just simply didn't happen.

And that's why there has never been an unsolved crime in all of human history!

Re:Meanwhile, on Twitter and Facebook... (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 2 years ago | (#41026747)

As a general rule in human history, privacy has been totally foreign. People always knew what their tribe, hamlet, neighborhood or building were up to. There wasn't an expectation of any sort of privacy, for anything from actions, to sexual activities, to hygeine. It just simply didn't happen.

And that's why there has never been an unsolved crime in all of human history!

Privacy and secrecy are not the same thing. You can have secrets without an expectation or right of privacy.

Re:Meanwhile, on Twitter and Facebook... (1)

bbelt16ag (744938) | more than 2 years ago | (#41024315)

no they just pull out the dogs and the pipe. they dont need this. its just for the political leaders they cant use the torture thing on directly or coercerce with a job in 4 years. if you have seen that episode of 60 minutes when the lobbiest says that once he offered them a job he OWNED them. at one point he owned HALF of the senate and the house. and barbra was shocked, i wasn't. I am ready for my soma and blue pill now, please leave me and the cat alone...

Re:Meanwhile, on Twitter and Facebook... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41026079)

I don't think there is an issue with people deciding they don't need much privacy, assuming it was an informed and fair decision. There is really only two things that can be harmed by loss of privacy: the loss of value you had assigned to privacy, and potential consequences from other people for your actions. If you don't value privacy, and don't think there is much risk of consequence for making something public, you lose nothing. At some point, the risk of a consequence for revealing something will be on par with risk from hiding it and allowing others to just make up stuff to fill in the gaps.

In the end though, other people making their own decisions about this shouldn't impact you, in the sense each person should be allowed to decide for themselves how much privacy they want. The only danger is if a large majority choose different from you, then you face the potential issues of being an outcast. That would go both ways, whether the general populous went with privacy or publicity, people who choose the opposite would have issues. However, in the long run, there is one benefit to a majority of people picking not to keep things private: things that are shamed and attacked for being deviant have a chance of being seen for how common and mundane they are.

In the future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41023751)

the only taboo is secrecy!

I only have one secret (1, Funny)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 2 years ago | (#41022993)

I am a wererabbit!

Re:I only have one secret (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023051)

I am a wererabbit!

Bugs is that you?

Re:I only have one secret (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#41024537)

I am a wererabbit!

I demand a WereHasenpfeffer!!

I'd never thought of that before (4, Interesting)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023007)

Thanks to this research it seems pretty clear that interfacing to the brain reveals much more than where you want to move a cursor.

Anybody working with classified info won't be allowed anywhere near these things.

Re:I'd never thought of that before (5, Interesting)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023047)

Anybody working with classified info won't be allowed anywhere near these things.

For everybody else they'll be mandatory as protection against pre-crime.

Re:I'd never thought of that before (1)

amirishere (2651929) | more than 2 years ago | (#41028341)

"I wonder if I can get a first post as non anonymous on the next article" ... -1 ... "duh".

Re:I'd never thought of that before (2)

middlemen (765373) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023121)

Anybody working with classified info won't be allowed anywhere near these things.

But they also have lives... they might have cool toys at home like these headsets for playing video games...

shouldn't we be looking at ways to really build secure software around these devices rather than prevent people from using them...

it is a defeatist attitude where software folks instead of fixing their software say don't use it...

Re:I'd never thought of that before (2)

CodeHxr (2471822) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023531)

The only way to be sure that any software around these devices are secure is to compile it yourself after analyzing the source code. Bonus points for writing the source code yourself.

Re:I'd never thought of that before (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#41030333)

That works for software, I guess. What about the hardware? Should people setup a chip foundry in their garage?

Re:I'd never thought of that before (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41023131)

Actually, it shows, they truly have no idea what input they need for the controllers, so, they take everything and extrapolate instead.

Seems to me, right now it's only useful for medical purposes.

Still, if they would find out the exact signals they need to tap to make it work only for the game, without grabbing anything else, then it would reduce the number of sensors and build costs enormously.

Just "gaming" headsets, you say? (3, Interesting)

Coisiche (2000870) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023043)

Now it seems to me that could make quite a useful interrogation tool, and I'd be therefore very surprised if such things are not already in use by constabulary forces.

Re:Just "gaming" headsets, you say? (3, Insightful)

illaqueate (416118) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023093)

This is another one of those cases where the authors want to write about a science fiction scenario that doesn't exist like direct neural input so they do an EEG study that in no way resembles the scenario they are imagining. EEG is terrible for extracting information so there's not much to worry about.

Re:Just "gaming" headsets, you say? (0)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023165)

EEG is terrible for extracting information so there's not much to worry about.

So is waterboarding, but they do it anyway. Of course with torture there's always the perversion factor, so that could be why.

Re:Just "gaming" headsets, you say? (1)

James McGuigan (852772) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023507)

Alot depends on the required statistical accuracy of the information you are trying to extract, and the costs associated with a false-positive or false negative.

If you are trying to prove guilt/innocence in a court of law or planning to bomb some remote village based on "intelligence" then its a pretty poor method, as with torture.

But if all you are after is a better than average statistical correlation, then might catch the attention of advert-targeters and fraudsters. From inside an EEG controlled MMOG, you could run metrics on thought pattern signal spikes and "brand" names within the players field of view, then targetly place your "brand" adverts next to the ones they statistically seem to "know". Then I could see the Culture Jammers finding out about this and deliberately uploading "fake" brain signals with "humorous" correlations.

Suppose you are in a EEG controlled MMOG, tyou could run metrics on the "reconsise object"

Re:Just "gaming" headsets, you say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41024595)

Well, EEG has its limitations, but lots of information can be had just by being able to see when someone recognize something.

Lets say the cops find someone who saw a killing. But the stubborn idiot is worried about "getting involved" in something, so he doesn't want to talk!

So use the EEG equipment, and show him pictures of all the suspects (i.e. all the local gang members). To each picture, he says "never seen him" but EEG reveals who he has seen before. Nothing that holds up in court of course, but now they know who to interrogate next.

Re:Just "gaming" headsets, you say? (1)

mrstrano (1381875) | more than 2 years ago | (#41024771)

EEGs are terrible when used as polygraph in a court of law. This is because they are not perfect and make mistakes fairly often, therefore cannot be used as evidence beyond reasonable doubt. However, if you want to get "some" information about a person, with only a degree of certainty, they are pretty damn good.

Re:Just "gaming" headsets, you say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41023201)

They are, and it is called a polygraph. This technique is basically functioning at the level of a crude polygraph, using random stimulus from the environment instead of directed questioning.

Re:Just "gaming" headsets, you say? (3, Interesting)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023209)

Not watched the Mythbusters episode about the lie detector? Apart from the absolute rubbish asserting that polygraphs work (despite there being NO scientific evidence that they have ever or could ever work and vast evidence to the contrary - and HUGE problems with their experiment setup in the first place), they do a bit where they stick people in MRI's, EEG's, fMRI's, etc.

Basically, it's hard to tell without a very good MRI scan happening *as* the person lies, real consequences if they are found out, complete amateurs being tested, no counter-measures being taken by them, huge amounts of analysis, etc. to say if someone is lying. But if someone doesn't want it to be known they are lying, it's almost impossible to tell from any external measurement.

And if you can't do it with medical-grade EEG or room-sized MRI results, you can't do it with a gaming headset for the next 30 years.

Hell, the US is just about the only "first-world" country that's EVER allowed polygraph results to be used as "evidence" in a court of law.

It's just that shite, and unreliable, a method to detect what someone is thinking. And if you can lie automatically and convincingly, then you have nothing *TO* detect in the brain. At least until you can *literally* read people's thoughts as if they were sentences being spoken aloud about what they intend to do.

Hell, our knowledge of the brain at the moment stems mainly from waiting for someone to have a bolt fired through their brain by accident and seeing what facility they lose and what parts of the brain were damaged. Above and beyond that, the brain's a black box of which we can only measure "activity" by way of measure electromagnetic changes. That's like trying to tell what colour object is inside a opaque box that you can't touch by waving a metal detector near it.

Marketing doesn't need the accuracy of court (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#41024447)

And if you can't do it with medical-grade EEG or room-sized MRI results, you can't do it with a gaming headset for the next 30 years.

That is why the "it" is likely to be targeted advertising not the extraction of evidence for use in court. Marketing doesn't need the level of accuracy that a court would.

Re:Just "gaming" headsets, you say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41024689)

You are correct in that there is no magic mind reading machine, at least not yet, that can "detect lies" or otherwise extract complex information directly from the brain. But you are dead wrong about everything else. Today, most of our information about brain function comes from measuring metabolic changes in brain function during various types of physical and mental activity and/or sensory stimulation, using radioactive markers.

This method can't detect "lies" very well. But measuring changes in brain activity while showing someone a series of pictures can and will accurately determine many things the subject would rather keep secret. Like which in a series of 20 crime scene photos depict the murder HE did. Or which in a series of mug shots happens to be the contact person connecting the subject's resistance cell to a city-wide underground network.

Re:Just "gaming" headsets, you say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41028001)

so what happens if the perp is jamming the scanner by doing long division in his head while you show the crime scene photos. same as with a polygraph, it is trivial to fool these things if you don't give it a good baseline. mental math or playing where's waldo, or even a rock in a shoe can throw off your million dollar mind reading machine.

Re:Just "gaming" headsets, you say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41027953)

It's just that shite, and unreliable, a method to detect what someone is thinking. And if you can lie automatically and convincingly, then you have nothing *TO* detect in the brain. At least until you can *literally* read people's thoughts as if they were sentences being spoken aloud about what they intend to do.

Even that wouldn't quite work anyway. Random thoughts pop into people's head all the time and many of them would be severely incriminating if read aloud, but in fact those thoughts don't need to have any relation to anything real. A thought reader like that could only be used to discover information that would then need to be verified in some other way.

Re:Just "gaming" headsets, you say? (1)

jovius (974690) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023299)

The problem is that you'd first have to record a huge amount of EEG data correlated with the verbal output and the perceptions of the person to be questioned, to construct any sort of model to be used later in the interrogation room. Otherwise the EEG data is mostly meaningless noise. Besides the person with the EEG headset can obfuscate the interrogation ad infinitum by pressing teeth together for example (thus enhancing alpha waves), or moving the facial muscles in some other ways.

Re:Just "gaming" headsets, you say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41023407)

"Oh, we are seeing a significant increase in alpha waves. You must be lying."

Re:Just "gaming" headsets, you say? (1)

N0Man74 (1620447) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023903)

Now it seems to me that could make quite a useful interrogation tool, and I'd be therefore very surprised if such things are not already in use by constabulary forces.

I don't see us being anywhere close to this yet, but it's yet another reason to fight to defend 5th Amendment rights (for Americans in the audience).

Think of the targetted marketing possibilities! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41023183)

I'll really worry when Google starts investing heavily in the technology.

Hm (3, Funny)

rumith (983060) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023251)

I predict a sharp growth of tinfoil hat making companies' share price.
Anyway, this technology is amazing. How long until we (as a species) can do the same from a distance? How long until such devices are then minituarized and cost so little that it is feasible to make them ubiquitous?

Re:Hm (1)

jasonvan (846103) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023295)

You mean Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanies? http://zapatopi.net/afdb/ [zapatopi.net] I actually am starting to think these will seriously be necessary in the coming years. I'll be ahead of the game then.

Re:Hm (1)

biodata (1981610) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023541)

You mean aluminium foil shurely?

Re:Hm (1)

jasonvan (846103) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023685)

That's just a conspiracy started by other countries' governments to keep us anti-mind control neighbors from banding together under the similar color of our ideas.

Possible shield (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41023303)

Keep thinking about tits, if you are a man. The male brain can only think about one thing at a time:
http://askville.amazon.com/men-multi-task-women/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=36377417

I've got a new puzzle game for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41023349)

Sweet I bought one of those NeuroSky ones. Sounds like I'm making a new word puzzle game that goes something like this:
Have some random wordsearch puzzle show up, and at the beginning have a little animation that walks over and expands every letter one at a time. Then record their thoughts and hopefully you'll get a weak signal for something they find 'similar.' Let them finish the puzzle and then generate a new one using a genetic algorithm that manipulates some of the letters around the 'similar' letters. Your fitness function is whether a sequence of letters became more familiar or not. Maybe you can eventually figure out some password that way. Of course you'd still have to figure out the site/service, and username... but that's for another game!

Ohh maybe I could throw in some IAP as well. $1 and I won't scan your brain for info!

I'm one generation behind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41023367)

Mouse??? My primary interface to the computer is still the keyboard...

That future is here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41023539)

Come on ppl, this shit has been in deployment for the best part of 30 years...all these so-called techies and security researchers and none of them can piece this together.

Bloody genius.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41023571)

Where did you got you tinfoils hats guys?

Party like it's 1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41023725)

Thoughtcrime will soon be a legal offense. Make no mistake, this IS coming, naturally in the name of The Children or Terrorists.

Thought crimes already exist. (1)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#41024249)

In 1984 they couldn't read brains and yet they had thought crimes. We already have lesser forms of thought crime today.

"Brain phishing" (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023759)

n/t

Google... (1)

robmv (855035) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023865)

...Google announces it is buying Neurosky and Emotiv for an undisclosed sum of money

Blurb Misleading (4, Informative)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023871)

If you RTFA, you discover that they can use it to confirm that you recognize particular things, so the system doesn't "leak" secrets. They can only "steal" things they already know.

Ghost in the Shell (1, Interesting)

Gyorg_Lavode (520114) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023877)

This is the first step towards the world described in Ghost int he Shell. At some point a need for security appliances on brain-machine interfaces will be needed and created. Then the brain-machine interface and the security appliance will move to an embedded solution within bodies. At that point, hacking will be a lot more dangerious as one of the impacts of attacking, defending, and counter-attacking will be loss of confidentiality, integrity, and availablility of people's own brains.

In less than 20 years... (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | more than 2 years ago | (#41023985)

I've read that in 20 years or less, we will be able to download all of a person's brain onto a computer hard drive. All of their memories, accumulated knowledge and yes, any crimes they may have comitted. Trying to find citation. Click this link, and scroll down to see a pic of "the headset of the future!" http://m.io9.com/5495712/six-ways-science-can-see-into-your-brain [io9.com] This article on the ethics of brain imaging http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/7324 [brynmawr.edu] and http://m.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/feb/09/neuroscience.ethicsofscience?cat=science&type=article [guardian.co.uk]

Re:In less than 20 years... (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | more than 2 years ago | (#41024197)

Yeah, and we were all supposed to have flying cars "in 20 years" in the 70s and robot housemaids "in 20 years" in the 50s.

Trying to find citation.

I think you misspelled "sound-bite given to tabloid journalist by excitable academic."

Bad headline... (1)

Je-Tze (877130) | more than 2 years ago | (#41024177)

Researchers find 'Mind-Control' gaming headsets can be used like a glorified POLYGRAPH, and may some day be about as usefull. ...There. Fixed it for ya.

Sounds like fMRI lie detection (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#41024285)

If so it could now be possible for anyone to experiment with it using these cheap headsets...great...

Who knew? (1)

WillgasM (1646719) | more than 2 years ago | (#41024431)

You mean to tell me that devices created to read your thoughts are, in fact, capable of reading your thoughts. What a wacky, unforeseen outcome!

Acronyms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41024597)

How to properly use acronyms:

1. Right the full term out.
2. After the full term, put the acronym in parentheses.
3. After that, use the term freely.

1, 2. "...brain-machine interface (BMI)..."
3. "But as BMI gets more..."

This is especially necessary in the case of something like BMI which has a well-known meaning: body mass index. It absolutely is clear from the context that BMI is not meant as body mass index, but an acronym -especially one that is well known to mean something else- appearing out of a vacuum screws up the flow of reading and without the parenthetical acronym earlier, it's a lot harder to find and figure out what was meant if there is some question.

Nekomimi ears (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#41025315)

Used in a different way, this can be fun. See Necomimi ears. [neurowear.com] These are cosplay ears which are controlled by a CPU that's reading basic brain activity. They swing up to the "pricked" position when brain activity indicates the wearer has their active attention on something, and slowly droop if the wearer isn't doing much.

These were sold at Fanme 2012. If you call out the wearer's name, or their phone rings, the ears prick up. There are reports that people playing video games have their Necomimi ears prick up when they're doing a level, and the ears relax when they finish.

Mary had a little lamb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41025475)

Mary had a little lamb, whose fleece was white as snow.
And everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go.

Mary had a little lamb, whose fleece was white as snow.
And everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go.

Mary had a little lamb, whose fleece was white as snow.
And everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go.

Sure... it works in theory. (1)

nighthawk243 (2557486) | more than 2 years ago | (#41025625)

Works in theory, but good luck trying to get the 12 year olds on X-Box live from cursing insults first.

Yes, I am glad to see you (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 2 years ago | (#41026221)

Yes, I am glad to see you.

And, no, I'm not thinking about work right now.

Why do you ask?

You're waiting for a train,.. (1)

zawarski (1381571) | more than 2 years ago | (#41027383)

a train that will take you far away...

So basically... (1)

Havenwar (867124) | more than 2 years ago | (#41030023)

20 years from now some user tries out the new free game on facebook. It's got some number puzzles, some geography aspects, inserts pictures of his friends here and there as he walks around a virtual city.

On the other side, the malicious company gathers information about what people on your friends list are closest to you by how you react when you see their pictures, they probably know what city you live in from facebook so unknown to you the city you've been walking through has been a simplified version of your own hometown, showing what parts of it you are more familiar with and have positive feelings towards. The number games are located around where the atms in town are, which means subconsciously you'll be thinking of your pin code and probably favour those numbers.

That's just off the top of my head, the first ideas I got. Expand it to credit card numbers, put a card in the game that you "pay" with, and any number game you play in connection to it you might give away your credit card numbers. Of course odds are they already have that from selling you in game bonuses.

No wait, I'm just thinking of how zynga operates.

But yeah, I'm sure this technology could make for even worse versions. The most sophisticated phishing attack in history, a trawling operation, catching near everyone. And all completely above board, seemingly... A hit game, the familiarity people feel making it so popular... And then after a few weeks, a few hundred million gets stolen. Bank accounts en masse turning up empty.

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