FDA Confirms St. Jude Medical Heart Devices Can be Hacked

This article was originally published here

Federal regulators said Monday that scores of pacemakers and implantable heart defibrillators made by St. Jude Medical are vulnerable to computer hacking, but a security patch is ready to address the problem.

On Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration published a public safety notice confirming it is possible for a hacker to remotely compromise security in St. Jude’s wireless communication network and then secretly change commands in a pacemaker or implantable defibrillator while it’s still wired to a patient’s heart.

The potential for such attacks was first alleged by an investment firm last August. Such an attack could cause a lifesaving device to rapidly deplete its battery or give inappropriate electric shocks. However, federal officials stress there has never been a documented case of a cyberattack intended to harm a patient.

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