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New generation of medical implants vulnerable to hackers

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posted on May, 22 2012 @ 11:05 AM

WASHINGTON - Pacemakers, brain implants, insulin pumps and other medically implanted and external devices with wireless interfaces are vulnerable to cyber-attacks by hackers.

A recently released Department of Homeland Security bulletin sent to medical and cybersecurity industry professionals warns of possible future attacks.

This vulnerability raises a new security risk for the average person, high profile public figures and world leaders alike.

"One example of a common vulnerability I've seen is a medical device with a wireless interface, where the command and control doesn't have cryptographic authentication," says Dr. Kevin Fu, an associate professor in Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Fu says a hacker, using a wireless interface, could utilize "another computer or another device to change the settings on a medical device to infuse insulin or control the defibrillation of a heart."


Scary! I guess this was coming, it was just a matter of time. But check this out for an example:

Security expert Jerome Radcliffe, a diabetic who uses an insulin pump, showed onlookers at the 2011 Black Hat Technical Security Conference that his pump's cyber vulnerabilities could lead to severe consequences.

He used a laptop and other computer-related gear to remotely disrupt the wireless signals being sent to his insulin pump, reverse them, swap the data being captured about his condition with phony data, and then send it back to the pump.

In effect, he demonstrated he could increase the amount of insulin injected by the pump, or reduce it, which could eventually kill him. During the chilling demonstration, the pump gave no indication someone had been tampered with it.

Damn.. so i guess if you have the smarts, means and motive, you could really make someones life a living hell by messing around with their medical devices! Seems like it could easily be used as a tool for assasination, blackmail... al sorts of horrible things.


posted on May, 22 2012 @ 11:21 AM
reply to post by Nspekta

they should just make them with a plug in that runs under the armpit similar to those valves they have for salt water beast implants so women and easily increase or reduce the size of their breasts anytime they want.they should just make it so you can plug in a control panel to ajust it.

posted on May, 22 2012 @ 11:22 AM
reply to post by Nspekta

watch the anime ghost in a shell it talks about this type of thing happening and it came out in like 96 i think

posted on May, 22 2012 @ 11:40 AM
reply to post by Nspekta

I'm pretty sure the various intelligence agencies have known (and used) this for a long time already.

Scary nevertheless though i don't really see a threath in it for common joe. But when you are a high profile person, this surely is worrying. But then again, cancer, "car accidents" and heart attacks are rampant amongst high profile members of society aswell.

If they want to get you, they'll get you.

posted on May, 22 2012 @ 12:14 PM
It's a scary thought if they could seize control of someones bodily movements who has a brain implant. Use the person to act out for them. I'm currently reading about Braingate, medical brain chips that use an interface.. If a chip was embedded into healthier persons brain, they might be used like a robot.

posted on May, 22 2012 @ 12:24 PM
Its good to start discussing security at this early stage of implantation and augmentation.
Not overly concerning right now, but the overall theme is something to consider.
in 20+ years, there might be tons of machines in people..not necessarily just a medical necessity, but optional must be paramount (is there any reason a full connection to the net is needed? Do you need to update your eye 2.0 on a daily basis? Why isn't there just ports to connect up and update (if needed) that is secure verses potential net.

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