Medical implants vulnerable to cyber attack

Medical implants used to manage conditions such as diabetes and heart disease are vulnerable to cyber attack, security researchers warn

Medical implants used to manage conditions such as diabetes and heart disease are vulnerable to cyber attack.

The warning comes after security researchers developed attacks that located and compromised medical implants, according to the BBC.

In tests, the wireless links used to interrogate and update these devices were found to be open to attack, as no authentication or encryption methods are used.

For example, broadcasting a particular radio signal could shut down a heart defibrillator. In another test, researchers found they could influence any insulin pump in a 91m range.

The researchers said more work needs to be done to secure implants that monitor vital signs, administer insulin and regulate heart beats.

The UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said it had never received any reports of medical implants being hacked.

But the researchers say security is something that needs to be addressed now, as future devices will be much more connected to the internet and will have much more use of wireless technology.

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