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Virtually all of us have, at one stage, received a dodgy looking email with the title saying something like 'EXTRA IMPORANT!!!', or 'SEND BANK DETAILS FOR CASH'. Even if you're not great with technology, you'll know not to open the attachment.
But international scientists are now saying that aliens could use malware to bring about humanity's downfall - by sending us messages hidden with malicious AI.
German and American researchers are advising us that such messages could wreak havoc with our power systems. They've concluded that if we ever do get a complex message from aliens, we should treat it in the same way as we would a spam email - and bin it.
What if it's just a nice 'Hello'?
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Despite that risk, the scientists note that there may be 'considerable' potential benefits to taking the risk on a message and entering into a 'galactic network'.
"It is always wise to understand the risks and chances beforehand, and make a conscious choice for, or against it, rather than blindly following a random path.
"Overall, we believe that the risk is very small (but not zero), and the potential benefit very large, so that we strongly encourage to read an incoming message," the researchers say.
Whether you think contacting aliens would be a positive thing or would potentially spell ruin for humanity, there'll always be people wanting to take a peek if they ever did try to slide into our global DMs.
We've been alone in the universe for millions of years. What's a bit of malware between friends?
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