Certain Pacemakers Are Vulnerable To Computer Hackers

September 1, 2017

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When you think of computer hacking, you think of compromised personal information, gas station skimmers or email networks but rarely think of a pacemaker.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced this week that several implantable cardiac pacemakers are vulnerable to cyberattacks. Modern pacemakers use radio frequency (RF) technology to transit performance and medical information to doctors and healthcare providers.  While certain RF frequencies can interfere with its performance these frequencies are general safe, but they can be hacked, which has led to the government recommending patients with a pacemakers made by Abbott (formerly St. Jude Medical) to visit their doctor for the firmware update.  The brands include Accent, Anthem, Accent MRI, Accent ST, Assurity and Allure.  Fortunately there have been no reports of hacking of the 465,000 pacemakers included in this notice.


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