In a new paper published in the journal Nature Biotechnology, cyber researchers from Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev suggest that unscrupulous hackers and bioterrorists could hijack the largely automated systems used to produce synthetic DNA for lab experiments.
By surreptitiously injecting malware into the systems’ code, these bad actors could replace a substring of DNA on a scientist’s computer – with potentially deadly consequences.
Further, bioterrorists could theoretically buy dangerous DNA from companies that don’t closely screen the origins of orders, making the DNA provider an unwitting accomplice in a chemical or biological attack.
“Setting up a cover story for when the mRNA experiment is rolled out and goes horribly wrong.”
On Wednesday, Interpol issued a global alert to its 194 member countries outlining potential criminal activity related to upcoming, large-scale Covid vaccination programs.
The international policing body highlighted a number of threats posed by criminal activity, including the advertisement, sale and use of fake vaccines.
“Criminal networks will also be targeting unsuspecting members of the public via fake websites and false cures, which could pose a significant risk to their health, even their lives,” said Interpol Secretary General Jurgen Stock.
Interpol also warned governments, pharmaceutical firms and logistics organizations to be aware of attempts by criminals to infiltrate Covid vaccine supply chains.