CAN CARDIAC ARREST BE TRIGGERED BY THE CLICK OF A MOUSE?
Pacemakers implanted in the chest require a connection to the outside world so their settings can be adjusted without further surgery. To do this some of them rely on Bluetooth wireless technology, which is also used by smartphones to exchange data over short distances, for example. This connection to a person’s heart could be hacked: As early as 2007, when the public still considered such a murder to be the stuff of science fiction, one U.S. government official chose to exercise caution: Dick Cheney, the vice president at the time, had his pacemaker’s wireless capability deactivated— because of concern about a digital assassination. Says University of Tulsa computer science professor Sujeet Shenoi: “The devices can be compromised; the result can be fatal, and the industry is doing too little about it.”