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March 12th, 2008

Can Dick Cheney’s Heart Be Hacked?

Vice President Dick Cheney has an implanted cardiac defibrillator. And it now appears that such devices can be hacked.

From an article in today’s Boston Globe (via Dr. Wes):

A new study demonstrates a large gap in the security of implanted devices that help regulate heartbeats and use wireless technology, researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the University of Massachusetts, and elsewhere report today.

“With some technical expertise, we were able to retrieve information from the device in an unauthorized fashion,” said Dr. William H. Maisel, senior author of the report. “We were able to send commands to the device in an unauthorized fashion and could reprogram settings and even tell the device to deliver a high-voltage shock.”

So if someone can get information on Cheney’s heart, what exactly will they find?

See also: How to hack a defibrillator (WSJ Health Blog)

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