Neuronal Jamming Cyberattack over Invasive BCI Affecting the Resolution of Tasks Requiring Visual Capabilities

by   Sergio López Bernal, et al.

Invasive Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI) are extensively used in medical application scenarios to record, stimulate, or inhibit neural activity with different purposes. An example is the stimulation of some brain areas to reduce the effects generated by Parkinson's disease. Despite the advances in recent years, cybersecurity on BCI is an open challenge since attackers can exploit the vulnerabilities of invasive BCIs to induce malicious stimulation or treatment disruption, affecting neuronal activity. In this work, we design and implement a novel neuronal cyberattack, called Neuronal Jamming (JAM), which prevents neurons from producing spikes. To implement and measure the JAM impact, and due to the lack of realistic neuronal topologies in mammalians, we have defined a use case with a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) trained to allow a mouse to exit a particular maze. The resulting model has been translated to a neural topology, simulating a portion of a mouse's visual cortex. The impact of JAM on both biological and artificial networks is measured, analyzing how the attacks can both disrupt the spontaneous neural signaling and the mouse's capacity to exit the maze. Besides, we compare the impacts of both JAM and FLO (an existing neural cyberattack) demonstrating that JAM generates a higher impact in terms of neuronal spike rate. Finally, we discuss on whether and how JAM and FLO attacks could induce the effects of neurodegenerative diseases if the implanted BCI had a comprehensive electrode coverage of the targeted brain regions.


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