NewsThe Privacy Arms Race

Could your pacemaker be hackable?

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Science  30 Jan 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6221, pp. 499
DOI: 10.1126/science.347.6221.499

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Summary

In a 2012 episode of the TV series Homeland, Vice President William Walden is assassinated by a terrorist who hacks into his Internet-enabled heart pacemaker and accelerates his heartbeat until he has a heart attack. This scenario is more than just a flight of fancy. Internet security experts have been warning for years that devices such as insulin pumps, glucose monitors, and pacemakers or defibrillators, when connected to the Internet, may be vulnerable to hackers who can take control of a device and change its settings. Manufacturers are starting to wake up to the issue and are employing security experts to tighten up their systems.