Once the preserve of science fiction, brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) have advanced to the point where they can even be found in novelty headwear, which only makes an achievement of an international team of scientists more frightening. Using an off-the-shelf Emotiv BCI costing only a few hundred dollars, the team has shown that it's possible to "hack" a human brain and pull things like bank details straight out of your skull.

For their experiment, researchers from the Universities of Oxford, Geneva and California (Berkeley) called in a group of Computer Science students. The students knew they were part of a security-related experiment but did not know the objectives or that they were being "hacked." Each of these students put on a Emotiv BCI and were sat down in front of a computer that displayed a series of images such as maps, banks, card PINs, and so on.