PACEMAKERS SUSCEPTIBLE TO SABOTAGE

Oct 08, 2013

By AM740 Staff

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Here’s a twist on the use of pacemakers.

Researchers say many pacemakers and other implantable medical devices including insulin pumps connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi to share important medical data with doctors, but very few of these devices use secure connections.

Security experts say hackers could easily steal medical data from devices or even take control them causing pacemakers to emit shocks, insulin pumps to overdose their wearers and ventilators to stop working.

The solution uses a patient’s heartbeat as a random password number generator.

Researchers say their program would work best with pacemakers but could also be used in any implantable device that can reliably detect the pulse.

Before the new security features can be implemented the US Food and Drug Administration would need to give approval.

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