I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence
And so the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware of what they're goin' through

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Story Bone

Hacking pacemakers to delivery deadly shocks remotely. The perils of adding too much technology without thinking through the consequences.

And there's plenty of other implantable devices this could work for. While I haven't fully researched it, I would guess that programable insulin pumps might be vulnerable (it would depend on how one connects to update the programing, and how the switch that delivers the insulin operates - the later in case you could just electronically brute force it). Then add in all the "future tech" (like Google Glasses - blue screen of death, yah, you betcha) coming on line.

Oh, and bluetooth added to devices also provides a gateway to this kind of attack, just saying.

This was pointed to by Dan. I was going to put it in a Linkee-poo, but that just screams "plot point" or even a Sherlock twist.


Jim C. Hines said...

I know it's something that's been discussed and addressed with insulin pumps, though I don't know the details. Mine can be set to work with a remote, but I believe doing so would make it beep with every half unit someone programmed to deliver.

I do occasionally wonder if I should get a lead-lined case to keep it in, though...

Steve Buchheit said...

The good news is that it would take a goodly amount of cash, time, and expertise to enact the hack.

The bad news is the same thing was true about garage door openers and remote locks on cars and now you can get $200 kits off the internet.

Of more concern, especially if it already has a remote circuit, would be the amount of encryption needed, or the security of the pairing routines.

Plus it would take a nefarious entity to be in opposition to your plans of world domination. In which case, there are easier and more direct ways (not to mention cheaper). So I wouldn't be worried unless you've been pissing off vampires or fire spiders.

Although, and I mean this in a totally not creepy way, when I wrote that I was thinking about your insulin pump. I was wondering if I should even use that as an example. I couldn't think of an alternative technology with a sufficient market penetration with the same potential for dastardly intents.

Actually protecting these devices can be quite simple as I believe the pacemaker security was based on obscurity. Which, in this day and age, is a fool's gambit.