Heart monitors hacked

Paul Raven @ 13-03-2008

heart-mosaic I don’t need to remind you that computers are everywhere – this is the intarwub, after all. But even I get a bit surprised at some of the specific places computers end up – I never knew that people are being implanted with heart monitor/defibrillators that can broadcast data about the patient’s condition back to their doctor. [image by CarbonNYC]

Having found that out, though, I’m not at all surprised to hear that researchers have found a security vulnerability that could potentially allow an attacker to compromise and deactivate the device and prevent it from delivering the heart-restarting shocks it is designed for.

Repeat after me – everything can and will be hacked.

On the subject of electric shocks to the body, you can choose to have them for fun as opposed to for your health; the grinders point out the arrival of the Mindwire V5 electroshock force-feedback device, which will interface with your games console and deliver a brisk jolt to your hands when you get PWNED. Pain is fun, kids!

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2 Responses to “Heart monitors hacked”

  1. Savage says:

    Scary, isn’t it? I came across one of the devices used to read and re-configure pace-makers. Someone I knew came across it. They asked me if I could find out any information about it on the Internet. I remember finding probably one or two websites that mentioned this thing. It was nearly as big as a mini-tower computer case. I wouldn’t be surprised if the thing ends up in the hands of a “computer enthusiast.”

  2. Maxene says:

    for some reason I can’t finish the comment. Something wrong with the site.

    I’ll begin again. Husband has had an ICD device for 5 years and he went into V Fib twice and in each case it shocked his heart back into normal rythm. In other words. He flat lined.
    Thinking about this piece you wrote is scary as hell, but I can see it happening since the devices that monitor the ICD are readily available to anyone in a hospital, cardiology office or manufacturing facility. You refer to the mini tower. There is also a MUCH small home version available that patients use to monitor the device themselves.