U.S. Government: Beware Of People Hacking Your Pacemaker

Because you really don’t have enough to worry about, we have this news from the U.S. General Accountability Office:

“FDA Should Expand Its Consideration of Information Security for Certain Types of Devices.”

Now, stifle that yawn. Because that’s really dry government speak for something that’s a big more alarming: People hacking your pacemaker! Or, as the wonky document puts it:

“Several information security threats exist that can exploit vulnerabilities in active implantable medical devices, but experts caution that efforts to mitigate information security risks may adversely affect device performance.”

Now, no such incidents have occurred — yet! But the GAO wants the Food and Drug Administration to get on this and make some rules. In general, the GAO felt the FDA had not taken such threats seriously enough when considering the approval of various implantable medical devices.

In a statement, three U.S. representatives, including Rep. Anna Eshoo, who requested the GAO report last year called on the FDA to improve oversight ASAP.

“Even the human body is vulnerable to attack from computer hackers,” Eshoo said in the statement. “Implantable medical devices have resulted in tremendous medical benefits for the patients who use them, but the demonstrated security risks require a renewed emphasis by the FDA and manufacturers to identify, evaluate and plug the potentially rare but serious security holes that exist in these devices.”

 

 

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