Have you heard about the latest hacker scam?
They seize control of your computer remotely and leave a message on the screen saying they’re going to take everything in it — your email, your bank information, everything — and then erase the machine unless you cough up some cash in a hurry.
These crooks are stealing millions, and they’re just getting warmed up… because the NEXT big scam won’t involve seizing your computer.
They could take control of your HEART!
WhiteScope, a major security firm, did what the medical device industry has so far refused to do.
They ran an analysis of the security in implantable “connected” cardiac devices including pacemakers and defibrillators from four leading manufacturers. Or maybe I should say they analyzed the LACK of security, because they didn’t just find a few little bugs here and there.
They found 8,000 security holes.
All four manufacturers had serious problems, including databases with patients’ intimate details — even social security numbers — that were completely unencrypted.
That’s not even the worst of it.
These devices are “connected,” which means they connect to other machines remotely, at a hospital or a doctor’s office… but the security team found that when they “check in,” that remote machine NEVER asks for a password.
In plain talk, that means if a hacker gets his hands on a hospital machine, he could gain access to your pacemaker without a password.
He wouldn’t just be inside your computer at that point.
He would’ve hacked his way INTO YOUR BODY!
As part of the study, the research team was able to buy the equipment that can connect to those pacemakers off eBay!
This isn’t some shocking new discovery, and it’s not limited to pacemakers.
Two years ago, Homeland Security found some 300 implantable devices came with pre-set passwords that can’t be changed, EVER. If a hacker figures out the code, he’s in — and you’re at his complete mercy.
With “security” like that, a major breach isn’t a matter of IF.
It’s a matter of WHEN, and they’re getting closer: Last month, a major hack attack on hospitals around the world shut down essential machines and literally held life-saving equipment for ransom.
When will they move on from hospital machines to pacemakers? I’m guessing it won’t be long at all.
If you need a device implanted, think long and hard first. If the ease and convenience of one that’s connected is important to you and your doctor, then do some homework. Make sure it’s one with absolute top-notch security features, including passwords that can be reset and changed.
And demand a failsafe that’ll let you take it offline if needed.