Nearly Half a Million Pacemakers Need Firmware Update to Avert Hackers

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Steven Fruitsmaak/GFDL via Wiki Commons

Steven Fruitsmaak/GFDL via Wiki Commons

The US Food and Drug Administration has made a startling discovery that approximately 465,000 pacemakers are in danger of being hacked.

In fact, the agency issued a massive recall after determining hackers had the potential to control pacing or deplete batteries within the vulnerable devices.

However, rather than having to replace the affected pacemakers made by St. Jude Medical, the manufacturer is actually issuing a firmware update.

The firmware updates will be taken care of by a healthcare provider and take roughly three minutes, but there are still risks involved.

During the update, the pacemakers will be forced to run in backup mode where data or setting could potentially be lost and affect performance.

It is encouraged that the patients speak to doctors to determine the best way of making their pacemakers hack-proof moving forward.

In the meantime, the FDA has warned that connecting pacemakers from Abbott’s Jude Medical to the internet will put you at risk so here’s to hoping this dilemma gets sorted out as quickly as possible.

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