Science The Nightmare Hack That Could Make Your Pacemaker Kill You

Published on October 17th, 2012 | by Steven Hodson


The Nightmare Hack That Could Make Your Pacemaker Kill You

It’s bad enough that we have malware designed to bring down our electrical grid, or water treatment plants; but here’s one type of hack that should give everyone nightmares. In fact it is probably the worst case┬áscenario you could ever image in our technological world.

I am of course referring to the newly announced hack discovered by a hacker called Barnaby Jack, who works for a security company called IO Active, that would enable someone to hack into a pacemaker using a laptop that once he downloaded its model and serial number could then upload new firmware and here is the really scary part – the hack would allow the hacker to force the pacemaker to apply a 850 volt shock to the heart, or turn off the pacemaker.

What is really incredible about all this is that he says that it is incredibly easy to gain access to the device (he didn’t name the maker of the device targeted) as it didn’t need a password or any authentication of any kind.

All this can be done up to 30 feet away from the person with the pacemaker.

Sleep well.

via DVICE / SC Magazine



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About the Author

Steven has been around the tech world long enough to see most of the stuff we think of cool happen before which leads to a certain bit of cynicism that has contributed to him being known as the cranky old fart of the Internet. Besides sharing some of the goodness that he finds with you here at 42x you can also find him curating some digital goodness at Winextra (tech type stuff) and Rotten Gumdrops (for your daily dose of WTF).

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