by Mike Masnick
Tue, Mar 18th 2008 4:59pm
Last week, one of the stories that got a few headlines and made the rounds concerned the news that some popular heart monitors could be hacked, potentially in a way that would provide powerful shocks to to the heart of someone who had such a device implanted. The reports made it very clear that the likelihood of such a hack was incredibly slim, as it would require a tremendous amount of access. So, this isn't something to worry about today, but it does suggest one area where it may pay for medical device makers to start thinking a little bit more about security. There was a report, about two years ago, that also warned of something similar, which we played down as a bit of fear-mongering (it had no real details, just suggesting that pacemakers would become a hacking target). It still seems like this is not going to be a huge threat any time in the near future, but that doesn't mean that those who design medical devices, especially those with connections to the outside world, shouldn't at least think through the potential security concerns and design these devices with security in mind from the beginning. That seems a lot safer than having to fix all of the installed devices down the road.
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