Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Taking Hackers To Heart

From The McGovern Historical Collection, Texas

Very interesting post from the New Scientist team relating some experiments that demonstrate you can indeed hack a pacemaker. The team involved used the built-in radio channel designed to allow doctors to pull out data for patient monitoring or to upload new hardware settings. Not only were they able to convince the device to shut itself down, they were also able to hack the monitoring function to extract data about the owner, presumably implying you'd want to know something about the poor individual you were about to pull the plug on?

Probably no immediate cause for alarm as the transmitter used was placed 2 inches from the device and likely had quite a large foot print associated with it (laptops, coils, geeks in sandals, that sort of thing.) Still, expect to see this kind of scenario appearing in a James Bond film heading your way soon where it's all built into a hair brush. (Seriously, do secret agents travel with monogrammed hair brushes in this day and age? Be a dead giveaway if so. No wonder the Iron Curtain fell, probably ran out of badger bristles and so the Stasi couldn't make any more secret devices. Also be worth checking to see if spies suddenly started sporting bad hair grooming too just before the Wall fell ...)

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