Not Pop-Pop!: Hacker Demonstrates Pacemaker Hack, Could Deliver Fatal Shock To Grandpas Everywhere

October 19, 2012


Note: Consider this your retroactive freaky-deaky picture warning.

A hacker going by the name of Barnaby Jack demonstrated his ability to hack pacemakers at a recent computer security conference in Australia, proving that fake boner pill emails may be the least of your grandpa's technology concerns. Dammit, I told you I'd get them for you gramps, STAY OFF THE INTERNET.

[The hacker] demonstrated how he could hack into a pacemaker using a laptop, and download its model and serial numbers. Once he was in, he could reverse engineer the connections or even upload new firmware, giving him full access to the device. This allowed him to switch off the device, or even force it to apply an 850 volt shock to the heart.

While he didn't divulge the manufacturer of the pacemaker used, Jack said that he wanted his demonstration to act as a warning to medical device makers to secure their devices. In many cases he says that it's easy to gain full access to a device, without need for a password or authentication of any kind.

Terrifying. Or at least for people with pacemakers anyways. That's why it's so important to SECURE YOUR WI-FI CONNECTION. "You don't even know what a pacemaker is, do you?" Zero clue. I know what a babymaker is though. "What's a babymaker?" *pointing* PEENUS!

Thanks to dot and Brett, who are both firm believers in not hacking pacemakers because old people have it rough enough already. Right? They're already on their way out, no need to kick them out the door.

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