Brain hacking is a hot subject right now and has moved from science fiction into reality. At the Usenix Security Symposium, one mind hack looked to create better security and an “unbreakable crypto” system; another brain hack focused on threats to privacy by extracting secrets with brain computer interfaces. Yet other scientists have created a helmet to make an Inception-like world in which reality can be manipulated.
With all the hacks and users continually using and reusing pathetically weak passwords, neuroscientists and cryptographers came up with an “unbreakable crypto” system that relied on implicit learning so your subconscious could remember a 30 character passphrase. However, the trick is that the password couldn’t be consciously recalled and obtained via “rubber hose attacks” meaning torture. The method relied on learning the password with a computer game similar to Guitar Hero, but that plants “a secret password in the participant’s brain without the participant having any conscious knowledge of the trained password.”
The game creates a random sequence of 30 letters chosen from six buttons corresponding with notes marked as S, D, F, J, K, L, explained Extreme Tech. The game lasts for about 45 minutes during which users make around 4,000 keystrokes that subconsciously teach the long, random password. “Neuroscience Meets Cryptography: Designing Crypto Primitives Secure Against Rubber Hose Attacks” was presented at the Usenix Security Symposium. If you are interested, you can download the research paper [PDF], slides [PDF] or watch the video presentation.