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Doctors Create 'Cloaking' Device to Protect Pacemakers from Hackers

Doctors Develop
We're not sure if this is a sign of how low people will go or how paranoid our society has become, but scientists have developed a "cloaking" device for wireless pacemakers.

Wireless pacemakers are becoming increasingly prevalent, because they're less intrusive to monitor and can be adjusted remotely by doctors from a computer. What makes them useful, however, also makes them vulnerable to malicious hackers who could hijack the devices and put a patient's life at risk by shutting the pacemaker down or administering electric shocks. Sadly, that isn't a plot from a bad science fiction film -- hackers have already figured out how to wirelessly control pacemakers.

The device is designed to reject instructions that come from anyone other than the doctor, and it is worn like a wristwatch, making it easily concealable. Some doctors worry that the cloaking device may interfere with paramedics and physicians trying to administer emergency care, especially since the device could be hidden on a person.

One would hope that protecting pacemakers from hackers would be an unnecessary precaution to take, but the level of paranoia is understandable knowing that some people have sunk low enough to embed potentially seizure-inducing animated graphics on a Web site for epileptics. [From: Daily Mail]

Tags: hackers, health, medicine, pacemaker, security