Pacemakers being recalled in US due to hacking concerns
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is recalling almost 500,000 pacemakers after reports that it may be targeted by hackers.
According to The Verge, such medical devices may be manipulated to control pacing or deplete batteries and need to be updated immediately.
The agency is now urging senior citizens or anyone with heart arrhythmia to surrender all pacemakers made by Abbott’s St. Jude Medical, so that it can undergo a firmware update designed to address the vulnerabilities.
Last May, the FDA discovered that hackers simply need “commercially available” items to tamper with the devices’ programming.
The agency also estimated that 465,000 devices were vulnerable to such hacking, the report said.
The FDA also sent out alerts that pacemakers with Wi-Fi connectivity carry the highest risk of being hacked, but noted the benefits of connectivity including more convenient health care.
Meanwhile, Abbott guarantees that its updates won’t take much time and will provide a completely hack-proof device. Khristian Ibarrola /ra
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