Owners of implantable defibrillators beware: Computer hackers can attack the devices that control your heartbeat. The Wall Street Journal reports that a physician and some computer scientists proved that it’s possible to hack into a Medtronic Maximo, an implantable cardiodefibrillator. The implantable devices are used to manage tachyarrhythmia, a cardiac ailment that involves rapid beating of the heart.
Like many other such devices, the Maximo can be programmed via RF signals from outside the body – a process that’s good for patients because doctors can access the implanted devices without cutting through the patient’s skin. By hacking into them, however, outsiders could potentially steal medical data or affect the performance of the devices.
Using sensors and a specialized test stand, engineers have discovered that the root causes of head trauma may lie in a complex pattern of forces that today’s football helmets aren’t equipped to handle.
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