Pacemakers are used by people with irregular heartbeat to spark the heart to beat in a normal rhythm. But researchers have found that, as pacemakers have become more technologically advanced, they have also made the humans more vulnerable. An expert has found that a pacemaker hack could be achieved just using a laptop and, if hacked correctly, it could provide an 830 volt shock or even commit mass murder.
Recently, at a security conference in Melbourne, Australia, researcher Barnaby Jack from security company IO Active has demonstrated with a video how he could hack into a pacemaker using a laptop, and download its model and serial numbers. Jack showed there is a “secret function” inside of the terminals that can communicate with these electronic tickers that can be used to activate all pacemakers and implanted defibrillators in a 30-feet radius. The pacemakers will then turn over their serial and model numbers, so it’s possible to upload firmware that can be spread among several implants. However, after installing the system, a hacker gets the full access to the device. This allows the hacker to switch off the device or even send 830 volt shock to the heart. No doubt, after having 830 volt shock, anyone will die.
The technology that helps keep you alive could also be used to kill you. It’s poetic and horrifying at the same time. However, Jack didn’t release the names of the susceptible companies and also mentioned that he made the demonstration to alert device makers to vulnerabilities. Jack hasn’t released, and never will, the video publicly because he doesn’t want psychopaths getting any ideas about it.