FDA Announces Pacemaker Recall Due to Hacking Risks

UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — We can now add pacemakers to the long list of hackable items.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Aug. 29 that almost half a million pacemakers manufactured by Abbott Laboratories could be hacked and require a software update.

Tampering with the devices could potentially kill patients who use them.

The FDA said security holes could allow hackers to reprogram the pacemakers which could “result in patient harm from rapid battery depletion or administration of inappropriate pacing.”

The 465,000 patients affected by the recall won’t have to have their pacemakers removed but they will have to get a firmware update from their healthcare provider.

Abbott released a statement saying, “The risk of hacking is extremely low.” It also said that there have been no reports of pacemakers being hacked so far.