Biohacking: The Human Upgrade
As previously seen on AllowSomeDenyAll.comLast summer I was lucky enough to get one c00p3r's last chips installs before the end of DEFCON. This past weekend I spent over 20+ hours answering questions about biohacking, watching implant installs, and explaining the use cases for each type of chip. At this point, you could say that I rep the colors of the biohacking community. I wanted to create a shortlist of some of the questions I received, recommendations I gave, use cases, and thoughts I had.
What about the mark of the beast?I actually only received this question once during the course of the weekend. It sparked some interesting conversation though. Looking at the specific scripture we find the following...
And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17 and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. Revelation 13:16-17 (NASB)
The takeaways from this passage are that the mark would be on the right hand or the forehead and that it would provide those with it the ability to buy and sell. Now in simple terms, implants generally aren't installed in the forehead and for the concerned and yet flexible an implant can be installed in the left hand instead of the right. The individual I was discussing this with actually found this to be an agreeable loophole. As of now most of these implants do not allow for payment functions. There are some technologies that hope to bring this functionality in the future, however. The recommended NExT chip has both RFID and NFC technologies in the same implant. Neither of these has payment capabilities.
Okay, so what can I do with an implant?
This question got asked a lot and to be fair what is the point of getting a chip implanted in your hand without some kind of functionality! The answer though is really dependent on the chip type. For those that received the NExT with both RFID and NFC, you can clone a work fob or HID card to the RFID half and program the NFC half with your phone. The NFC half has 888 bytes of writeable space and most people add URLs to their blog or YouTube videos on them. A few people have even kept some basic medical information on them. There is also the VivoKey Spark which acts as an authentication token with its own ecosystem, DESFire chips, temperature sensors, and magnets. While the magnets might not have the most apparent usefulness but I can only imagine the fun to be had at bars and with surprised grandparents.
Are these dangerous?
To a degree yes and no. The website's name is DangerousThings.com after all. Are the chips going to expire, explode, or leech chemicals into your body? Short answer: No. Tests have been run and the chips have been found to be safe. Test results can be found here. You can still shoot, wrench, and play sports. However, you are implanting technology in the body and this carries some inherent risk. It's about as much risk as getting a piercing though. Let it heal and all will be well.
Is TSA going to pull me?
Nope! These implants are too small to be noticed by TSA scanners or medical detectors. They won't be affected by x-ray machines either. If you have to get an MRI however you will need to notify the radiologist so they can take the correct measures. Dangerous Things does provide a nice guide though which can be found here.
Did it hurt? Is it uncomfortable?
On a scale of one to ten with ten being the most painful experience of my life (getting my knee drained), I would rank the installation process to be about a three to five. It's more than getting blood drawn but nothing a deep breath and clench of the other hand can't get you through. After the procedure, your hand will be a little sore and the chip might itch a bit but that will go away quite quickly. DON'T MESS WITH IT! The chip will most likely not read at first but this is due to the swelling around the installation.
Can I get it removed?
Sure! A general practitioner or body modification artist should be able to remove the implant. Here is an example of the procedure.
Can the government track me now?
As with the pattern....no. Think of it like your doggo. He probably has been chipped. If he were to accidentally get out and lost there would be no way to track him. Only when he is rescued and scanned would they know anything. These devices do not have batteries. They are not active until scanned and only when scanned will they provide any information. None of the devices have GPS tracking capabilities.
Why not? Personally, I like the idea of advancing the integration of technology and the human condition. It provides me a unique convenience. Biohacking is the culmination of technology and body modification. I see it as no different than getting a piercing with some added functionality. At any point, if I decide this is no longer for me I can remove the implants. However, I find that this is a way for me to explore territory normally only reserved for those in the medical industry. Pacemakers, deep brain stimulation, smart insulin pumps are all biohacking of medical nature. These implants are biohacking of consumer nature.
So what now?
If you have any questions about biohacking, implants, or chips please feel free to reach out to me!
I will be adding to this section as more and more questions are asked and devices are tested.
Does Not Work
Wooch RFID/Keypad - After cloning my RFID card to the chip in my hand it doesn't seem that the coil in this reader is strong enough. That or you have to get so close that the capacitive buttons pick up your hand as a keypress. Either way, it's a no-go.