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.
Conventional wisdom holds that MIT, Cal Tech, and Stanford are three of the country’s best undergraduate engineering schools. Unfortunately, when conventional wisdom visits the topic of best engineering schools, it too often leaves out some of the most distinguished programs that don’t happen to offer PhD-level degrees.
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