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New study warns of 'alien malware' attack


Posted on Wednesday, 28 February, 2018 | Comment icon 16 comments

Could an alien communication be malicious in intent ? Image Credit: CC BY 3.0 John Masterson, CSIRO
Two astrophysicists have warned that malicious aliens could send us a message infected with a virus.
It might sound like something out of the plot of Independence Day, but according to a new paper by astrophysicists Michael Hippke and John Learned, a hostile act by a sufficiently advanced extraterrestrial race could take the form of a benign message of greeting.

In one scenario, the physicists propose, an alien race could 'gift' the human race with a message containing an artificial intelligence with the ability to teach us vast amounts of knowledge.

Once this seemingly benign AI got a foothold however it could infect the world's networks, causing untold devastation and making our planet a much easier target for invasion.

Another scenario could see a message being sent with a threat, such as 'we will make your sun go supernova tomorrow'. The resulting panic alone could destabilise society.
The study authors conclude that any messages received should be destroyed immediately.

Whether we'd even be able to understand such a message however remains unclear.

"In movies, extraterrestrials often communicate with us in colloquial English," said SETI astronomer Seth Shostak. "But a real message from space is likely to be no more understandable than a digital TV signal would be to Guglielmo Marconi."

"An alien transmission is unlikely to be a Trojan horse - but it would at least tell us that there's someone outside the gates."

Source: IB Times | Comments (16)

Tags: Alien, Extraterrestrial

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #7 Posted by moonman on 28 February, 2018, 21:09
Like an alien AI could even operate on our (relatively) crappy computer systems.
Comment icon #8 Posted by NorthenerON on 28 February, 2018, 22:33
Anyone else automatically think of the movie Maximum Overdrive (1986) well reading this.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Nuclear Wessel on 28 February, 2018, 22:38
Life, uh... finds a way.
Comment icon #10 Posted by godnodog on 28 February, 2018, 22:42
I am more worried  about the star prince from Rigel that needs help from humans for transfer 10trillions of galactic credits as he tries to escape Rigel galactic war with Betlegeuse Star Empire
Comment icon #11 Posted by Piney on 1 March, 2018, 0:11
I thought of the Cylon virus which "shut off" the Colonial Fleet. But they needed a hot looking insider to do that. 
Comment icon #12 Posted by travelnjones on 1 March, 2018, 0:41
In one of my nerdy rpg games (Eclipse phase) they talk vaguely about a visual image being the contagion source for a virus that hacks the human mind.  Obviously scifi but who knows what an advanced intelligence would be capable.  
Comment icon #13 Posted by Glockornothing on 1 March, 2018, 2:05
So do I need McAfee, Norton, or will Windows Defender be enough to stop this alien onslaught?  Don't want any pesky aliens getting my tax information.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Hawkin on 1 March, 2018, 5:05
If you have Lifelock then your covered.
Comment icon #15 Posted by UFOwatcher on 1 March, 2018, 19:23
Only fair. Remember we did that to them in "Independence Day".....
Comment icon #16 Posted by Fila on 31 March, 2018, 21:31
New computers can communicate with older technology.., just not vice versa. There is talk of quantum computers we have built today being capable of breaking conventional encryption (SHA-256 etc). An advanced race could decrypt radio waves in real time (WiFi, 4G / 5G etc) and send their own data to your network, like a virus. They could easily write code to disable devices.., or even send false messages from anyone to anyone or even affect the stock market.


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