Saturday, October 5, 2013

LIFE-HACK: Encrypted Heartbeats Keep Hackers from Medical Implants


The mobile health market for remote monitoring presents some new risks. “Hacking your Heart” is featured in this article from the NY Times


Implanted medical devices like defibrillators and insulin pumps now include wireless connections to let doctors or technicians update software or download data—but such improvements could open the door to life-threatening wireless attacks.

Security researchers have shown that they can surreptitiously reprogram an implanted defibrillator to stay inactive despite a cardiac emergency, deliver a 700-volt jolt when not required, or drain its battery.

It seems there should be a straight forward solution to this problem if pro-actively addressed. Our military manages to remote control drones using radio signals via satellite over great distances whose command and control systems remain secure to prevent purposeful hacking or accidental changes.


A Florida hospital has developed a system for wireless real-time monitoring and reprogramming of cardiac devices, including pacemakers and defibrillators, using an iPad. A doctor can suggest changes to a cardiac device’s settings, then relay the information for a nurse in the hospital to execute using a touchscreen laptop.

n95a1cr8 Wireless Pacemaker Programming Device Unveiled at USC Body Computing Conference

At the Body Computing Conference held on September 23 at the University of Southern California, Karten Design (Los Angeles, CA) introduced a wireless, cloud-connected device designed to simplify the programming of pacemakers.


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