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Hacking Threatens Medical Devices

pacemaker x-ray
Monday, January 16, 2017

A recent report by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) offered evidence regarding a threat to implantable medical devices: cybersecurity. The report confirmed that St. Jude Medical's pacemakers and defibrillators are vulnerable to hacking. These devices, which control and monitor the heart and help prevent heart attacks, have the potential to be accessed by hackers. Battery depletion, abnormal pacing and electrical shocks are all potential ways with which these devices can be tampered. St. Jude's has developed a patch to correct this particular threat which is now being rolled out. This report however, underscores the importance of considering cybersecurity when designing remotely monitored implantable medical devices. The FDA recently released cybersecurity manufacturing guidelines in December of 2016 to help prevent future gaps in security.

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