Scary – A Pacemaker Can Be Hacked

IOActive researcher Barnaby Jack has reverse-engineered a pacemaker transmitter to make it possible to deliver deadly electric shocks to pacemakers within 30 feet and rewrite their firmware.

The effect of the wireless attacks could not be overstated — in a speech at the BreakPoint security conference in Melbourne today, Jack said such attacks were tantamount to “anonymous assassination”, and in a realistic but worse-case scenario, “mass murder”.

In a video demonstration, which Jack declined to release publicly because it may reveal the name of the manufacturer, he issued a series of 830 volt shocks to the pacemaker using a laptop.

The pacemakers contained a “secret function” which could be used to activate all pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) in a 30 foot -plus vicinity.

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