"If you want to keep living, Pay a ransom, or die." This could happen, as researchers have found thousands of vulnerabilities in Pacemakers that hackers could exploit.

Millions of people that rely on pacemakers to keep their hearts beating are at risk of software glitches and hackers, which could eventually take their lives.

A pacemaker is a small electrical battery-operated device that's surgically implanted in the chest to help control the heartbeats. This device uses low-energy electrical pulses to stimulate the heart to beat at a normal rate.

While cyber security firms are continually improving software and security systems to protect systems from hackers, medical devices such as insulin pumps or pacemakers are also vulnerable to life-threatening hacks.

In a recent study, researchers from security firm White Scope analysed seven pacemaker products from four different vendors and discovered that they use more than 300 third-party libraries, 174 of which are known to have over 8,600 vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit in pacemaker programmers.

"Despite efforts from the FDA to streamline routine cyber security updates, all programmers we examined had outdated software with known vulnerabilities," the researchers wrote in a blog post about the study.
"We believe that this statistic shows that the pacemaker ecosystem has some serious challenges when it comes to keeping systems up-to-date. No one vendor really stood out as having a better/worse update story when compared to their competitors."

The White Scope analysis covered implantable cardiac devices, home monitoring equipment, pacemaker programmers, and cloud-based systems to send patient's vital data over the Internet to doctors for examining.

Peace Of Mind Isn’t Priceless.

Alex Athineos
The Hacker News