A computer virus that is able to cross from tech to biological entities is within the realm of possibility according to Guillaume Lovet. Lovet is the senior manager at the Threat Research and Response Center at Fortinet, a company that specialises in network security.
During a keynote speech on the similarities between computer and biological viruses at the Black Hat Europe conference Lovet said, “We came to wonder if there can be some kind of convergence between human viruses and computer viruses. It may sound like a scenario for a bad Hollywood movie, but it is not such a stupid question.”
A research paper co-authored by Lovet outlines the similarities between human and computer viruses and theorises that computer viruses could infect systems that are working on modifying DNA that may be introduced into human beings.
“Seeing that the infamous Stuxnet virus, in 2010, was able to creep through a uranium enrichment plant, seize control of its PLC (programmable logic controller), and destroy its centrifuging gear, one could reasonably think that a virus infecting the computers sporting DNA databases is not outside the realm of possibility. Conversely, software used when sequencing DNA of a living organism, and databases storing bits that code for that sequence, are probably not absent of vulnerabilities.”
Whether a computer virus could exploit those vulnerabilities is unlikely but not utterly improbable.