Tuesday 25 September 2018

Hackers 'could kill patients with heart pacemakers or pumps'

In a new report, security experts warned that health technology is vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Stock Image: Getty Images/Science Photo Libra
In a new report, security experts warned that health technology is vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Stock Image: Getty Images/Science Photo Libra

Sarah Knapton

Hackers could kill patients by attacking their pacemakers or heart pumps, the UK's Royal Academy of Engineers has warned.

In a new report, security experts warned that health technology is vulnerable to cyber-attacks which could have "severe consequences" for patient safety.

The academy warned that the number of healthcare devices susceptible to hacking is growing, posing a threat to individuals and also providing a way to gain access to entire networks.

The experts cautioned that pacemakers or wearable health monitors that are linked to the internet or internal computer networks could also provide a gateway for hackers to plant ransomware - which threatens victims if ransoms aren't paid - into systems. Some US hospitals have been infected by the Wannacry and Medjack computer viruses after hackers targeted medical devices that were not protected.

Irish Independent

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