In May 2010, researchers at the JCVI announced that they had successfully created for the first time an artificial cell capable of self-replication. It proves that a genome can be designed on a computer and chemically created in a laboratory – without using any pieces of natural DNA.
As an IT security researcher, I could not avoid thinking what would be the implications and impact of this disruptive finding on information security, since the files containing genomic data should be able to preserve its integrity, which means I wondered whether malicious changes could be performed on this information compromising its behavior.
Thus, I have started to research this topic back in 2014 while doing my M.Sc. IT Security thesis. Since one of my goals was to promote this interdisciplinary conversation among biologists, geneticists, bioinformatics specialists, and security researchers; I am starting this blog that perhaps can be a small but additional contribution to this effort.
Unfortunately, security in genomic data is not a main concern among many people involved in this discipline. However, the easiest and cheaper sequencing technologies become, the more likely this can benefit criminals in the future. Therefore, I believe it is worth it to share some ideas and exchange information with other interested.