MIT, UMass researchers work to protect RoboCop, the Six Million Dollar Man and people with pacemakers from hackers
Technology Review reports that some researchers at MIT and UMass Amherst have developed a system for keeping hackers from interfering with implanted medical devices.
Yes, it's another hacking threat you didn't know existed: Modern pacemakers and defibrillators, insulin pumps and cochlear implants have wireless systems for uploading patient data to doctors and downloading new directions, and some experts have begun to worry what happens when these unencrypted systems are hijacked by hackers. But the researchers say they've found an answer, albeit a somewhat bulky one (at least for now):
[T]he laptop-sized device, called "the shield," emits a jamming signal whenever it detects an unauthorized wireless link being established between an implant and a remote terminal (which can be out of sight and tens of meters away). Although no attack of this kind is known to have occurred, "it's important to solve these kinds of problems before the risk becomes a tenable threat," says Kevin Fu, an associate professor of computer science at UMass and one of the developers of the shield.