Pacemakers Recalled Over Cybersecurity Risks Put The Fix in Your Chest

first_img Here’s the Story Behind the World’s First Major Internet AttackResearchers Discover Two More Cases of Facebook Data Exposure Firmware updates are a part of current everyday technological life. Every so often you just expect to update your computer, game console, watch, phone, connected coffee maker, or whatever else to add neat new features and patch up performance or security. But what if, and imagine we’re saying this in the most hacky sci-fi author voice imaginable, you had to update the firmware of your own body? Nearly half a million pacemaker users experienced just that after a mass recall of vulnerable medical devices.The Food and Drug Administration recently recalled 465,000 Abbott pacemakers due to concerns over potential cyber (heart) attacks, according to NBC. The affected state-of-the-art pacemakers include the Accent, Anthem, Accent MRI, Accent ST, Assurity, and Allure. If malicious hackers were able to worm their way into the pacemakers through wireless network communication they could do anything from draining the batteries to modifying the speed, threatening the life of the patient who relies on the tiny modern marvel implanted inside them to regulate their heart. Thankfully no such attacks have been reported yet by the FDA but why risk it? It’s like a bad Watch_Dogs mission. The Internet of Medical Things.Fortunately, there’s a pretty quick and easy fix. Patients simply need to visit their doctor and update their pacemaker’s firmware. The process takes three minutes, doesn’t require surgery, doesn’t pause the pacemaker’s crucial lifesaving functions while updating, and leaves the device safe from cybersecurity breaches (for the time being).Technology is great, and we shouldn’t hold back on the ways tech can help people medically. Let’s eat disease-fighting, stomach acid-powered nanobots and strap on all the 3D-printed cyborg limbs faster than you can say “mechanical apartheid.” But naturally new tech also presents new problems, and the stakes are higher when it’s tech we depend on to keep on living. So we just have to be aware of that. Someone tell Trump.If you or anybody you know uses a potentially vulnerable Abbott pacemaker be sure to get that hot new heart firmware update as soon as possible. More details can be found in Abbott’s statement. Put the firmware update in my chest, now!Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on targetlast_img