Pacemakers are the devices in the body of patients who are dealing with life-threatening cardiac issues. Have you ever thought that what are the vulnerabilities in these devices? Well, these devices use radio signals for communication in an attempt to avoid more surgeries.
Hackers may now start infecting pacemakers with ransomware
Some recent research reports show that these devices have some serious security flaws in it. These loopholes make the devices vulnerable to catastrophic cyber attacks. Billy Rios and Jonathan Butts are the researchers from WhiteScope. They identified more than 8600 vulnerabilities in the third party components found in the pacemaker devices.
Hackers can exploit any of these vulnerabilities to cause some serious damage. It can become a matter of life and death for the patients with pacemakers.
“Any pacemaker programmer can reprogram any pacemaker from the same manufacturer.This shows one of the areas where patient care influenced cybersecurity posture.”
The researchers claimed that they found some serious security issues in a pacemaker priced between $15 to $3,000. They discovered the security flaws in four different variants. They were also able to find some patient’s medical data which was available in the unencrypted form in the pacemaker.
Something needs to be done to avoid any ransomware attack. The researchers also discussed their findings of home monitoring systems. They stated that they would forward the details to vendors for keeping security issues in mind while manufacturing these type of devices.
“The findings are relatively consistent across the different vendors, highlighting the need for all vendors to perform an in-depth and holistic evaluation of implemented security controls.”
“By ensuring appropriate security controls are implemented, vendors can help protect against potential system compromises that may have implications for patient care.”
If you want, you can read the detailed research here.