As if spotty teenagers releasing computer viruses on to the internet from darkened rooms were not enough of a headache. According to a scientific report, planet Earth’s computers are wide open to a virus attack from Little Green Men.

The concern is raised in the next issue of the journal Acta Astronautica by Richard Carrigan, a particle physicist at the US Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois. He believes scientists searching the heavens for signals from extra-terrestrial civilisations are putting Earth’s security at risk, by distributing the jumble of signals they receive to computers all over the world.

In his report, entitled Do potential Seti signals need to be decontaminated?, he suggests the Seti scientists may be too blase about finding a signal….Rather than dismiss his concerns, Dr Carrigan wants the Seti scientists to build safety features into their network to act as a quarantine so any potentially damaging signals can be trapped before they infect the internet.

Somehow, I’m still more concerned about pre-pubescent script kiddies accidentally frying the Web.

  1. Imafish says:

    Somebody has been watching too many Roland Emmerich movies!

  2. Eric Bardes says:

    Looks like something straight out of the movie “Virus”. Let me warn those who haven’t seen it: It’s really bad. IMDB Link:

  3. Michael Reed says:

    Umm, umm anyone stupid enough to assume that;

    1. Someone light years away could predict decades to centuries in advance that we would develop a base 8 computer system, ignoring that the base 10 concept is much simpler for we ten fingered humans.
    2. Someone light years away would WANT to alter our computer systems
    3. Someone light years away would expect some type of gain from this, unless we can assume all time travelling/hyperspace possessing/immense intelligences act like ten year old kl33t hAxx0r5.
    4. To make a real impact they would have to understand our operating systems without seeing the, hearing about them etc. Clearly Microsoft does not understand half their own code, which makes it even more fun.

    Only someone so moronic as to make the writers of Independance Day seem smart would believe this is a concern for even seconds.

  4. Improbus says:

    This is what happens when all the intellegent people leave government. We are left with a sinking ship of fools. Bah and Humbug!

  5. Floyd says:

    OB ID4: Well, if Jeff Goldblum can hack his way into the aliens mothership with a Mac laptop (but without an iPod), then the aliens can hack right back.

    Seriously though, Carrigan needs to get back to his accelerator, and let others worry about real threats, like real viruses, Trojans, social engineering attacks and spyware.

    It’s quite likely that even if an alien signal is detected by someone using SETI@Home, it’s unlikely that the aliens could know enough about our computers to stage an attack. Think about it–the closest star is 4 light years away, and computing changes so fast during the minimum 8 year round trip for a signal, that any malware in the signal probably couldn’t do any damage to the receiving computer.

  6. Awake says:

    Another reason to switch to Linux or the Mac… Microsoft is not doing enough to protect us from evil outer-space aliens trying to put malware on our computers. Dang you Microsoft!!!
    Personally I think that it is much more likely that the iPod is programmed to put subliminal messages in the brain of anyone that uses it: “Buy 10 songs now from iTunes… you are a loser if you don’t own three iPods… mac is not overpriced… Bush is a great leader…”

  7. C0D3R says:

    I see alien teens from outer space creating Zombie machines controlled by IRC (Interstellar Relay Chat.)

    Attackers from one planet will hack our Wi-Fi antennas to focus a DoS radio signal at some other planet.

    Naturally, kids being kids throughout the universe, our CD-ROM doors will snap open and shut at the same time.

  8. Danijel says:

    Am I the only one that thinks this thing is completely bogus? For god sake, all that those Seti dudes do is analyze signals from radio equipment. How in hell is that a threat? It’s like making a virus that works over the microphone pluggged into your soundcard. Jeeze…


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