Today, it was announced by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that 750,000 implantable defibrillators manufactured by Medtronic could potentially be vulnerable to hacking.
As reported by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, many Medtronic implantable defibrillators currently in use may contain vulnerabilities which could potentially be exploited by hackers via their use of programmer devices or bedside monitors. According to Medtronic, no such episodes have been reported and such interference is extremely unlikely because any would-be hacker would have to be within 20 feet of a patient and would also need in-depth and specialized knowledge of the device’s programming features.
Medtronic has assured patients that there is no imminent danger and it promises that the issue will be solved with a programming patch that will be forthcoming. No action is required by patients other than keeping their bedside monitors plugged in and secure in their homes. Patients should discuss any specific concerns with their physician.
You can read the notice from Homeland Security here which lists all models affected..
You can read the security bulletin issued by Medtronic here.
You can read another story about the issue from Ars Technica here.