INTERVIEW: Barnaby Jack on hacking implantable medical devices

New research a real heartstopper...
October 25, 2012 -- 

This podcast is an interview I did with Barnaby Jack, a security researcher with IOActive. Barnes is probably best known for his work on ATM security. He famously "jackpotted" an ATM live on stage at BlackHat in 2010, but if he were to do a live demo of his latest research he'd probably wind up in prison.

That's because he's been looking at implantable defibrillators and pacemakers. As it turns out they have wireless interfaces that allow you to connect to them. You can bypass their rudimentary authentication and start sending 830 volt zaps into your victim's heart which, obviously, isn't ideal.

Jack says these techniques could be used for targeted assassinations, or perhaps even more worryingly, a maliciously motivated person could actually create an auto-propagating worm designed to kill people!


foxie.claire's picture

What do you mean about breakpoints. There is no such thing as breakpoints in here. - Feed the Children Reviews

viheraasia's picture

A fairly disturbing listen. I don't think that while creating pacemakers, they had the possibility of assassinations on their minds. Thus it is not that surprising that such vulnerabilities in the wifi interface would exist. More over troubling is that a peacemaker manufacturing country such as China might not have that far reached safety standards in mind as to patch such issues.
Regards:- viheraasia.