from pcworld.com: Computer hackers could create malicious software that crosses the line from technology to biology, crafting viruses that could spread dangerous epidemics, researchers said at Black Hat Europe. “We are really on the border between the living and the not living,” said Guillaume Lovet, senior manager of Fortinet’s Threat Research and Response Center, during a keynote speech discussing the similarities between biological and computer viruses. Fortinet was the main sponsor of the Black Hat Europe security conference in Amsterdam last week.
The comparison between computer and human viruses was made to give security researchers a better understanding of why the human immune system is so much better in battling viruses than antivirus systems. “We came to wonder if there can be some kind of convergence between human viruses and computer viruses,” Lovet added. “It may sound like a scenario for a bad Hollywood movie, but it is not such a stupid question.”
One of the main things that led Fortinet researchers to that conclusion is the similarity between computer and human viruses. In essence they behave the same way, including information coding for parasitic behavior inside a host system. Reasoning along this line of thought, a Denial of Service (DoS) attack can be compared to HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus), because both aim at overloading a system, said Ruchna Nigam, security researcher at Fortinet.