Forget stealing credit cards, social security numbers, and bank accounts.
Today’s hackers are getting much more advanced and going after a much bigger target: YOUR LIFE!
An urgent new warning finds that the “security” on high-tech wireless pacemakers is weaker than a toothless old watchdog — and any day now, hackers could find a way in.
This sounds like James Bond-type stuff. This sounds like something a hacker would do to a world leader to get him to hand over government secrets, or a billionaire hedge fund manager in exchange for mountains of cash.
But in reality, these crooks will be targeting people just like YOU.
That’s how “ransomware” works. One day, you’re just a regular Joe using your computer to send email and read the news.
The next, a message pops up on the screen: Your entire computer is under a hacker’s control. If you want it back, you’ve got to pay a fee — and bank info is provided.
Hackers are already scoring big money by holding computers hostage for just a few hundred bucks at a time… but imagine how much MORE they’d make if they could hack into your pacemaker and literally seize control over your heart.
Now stop imagining, because the MedSec security firm has issued a warning over implantable pacemakers connected to St. Jude Medical’s “Merlin@Home” system. Hackers could in theory have enough control to cause deliberate malfunctions, or even force the battery to suck itself dry.
St. Jude claims its devices are secure, but both the FDA and Homeland Security are investigating. Even if they don’t find a problem in this case, you know how it is with this high-tech stuff.
Nothing’s TRULY secure.
The best you can hope for is “secure enough… for now.”
With so many implantable devices now going wireless — including pacemakers, insulin pumps and more — a major hack isn’t a matter of IF.
It’s a matter of WHEN.
Last year, the Department of Homeland Security found that 300 wireless medical devices came with pre-installed passwords that can’t be changed… EVER. If someone figures it out, you’re screwed.
And that’s not even the scary part.
For many of them, the passwords were easy-to-guess codes like “1234.”
That’s right. All a hacker needs is five seconds and an IQ of 60 to figure out your password.
And then… he’s not in your online banking… he’s in YOUR HEART.
So if your doc is pushing a wireless implantable device, think very carefully beforehand and ask plenty of questions — and if you don’t like the answers, stick to the old-fashioned way.
It might not be as convenient. But it’s safer… and that’s what’s really important here.