Witness, if you will, an insulin pump. A simple device that can save your life. Except THESE medical implants are connected to the Internet, where everything has a price, including your life.
And that means your body now has a direct line into… (cue the creepy music) …
THE TWILIGHT ZONE!
In what seems like a rejected plot from an old sci-fi show, the feds have just recalled THOUSANDS of “connected” insulin pumps.
And it’s not because these medical implants defective in the usual sense.
It’s because they can be HACKED by someone who could then give you far too much insulin or cut you off completely.
HUGE security holes in medical implants
The FDA warning covers some 4,000 Americans using the Medtronic MiniMed 508 insulin pump.
But this isn’t the first, last, or only warning of its kind.
Implantable devices from insulin pumps to heart equipment are increasingly “connected” to send signals to and from a doctor. Or medical implants are web enabled to allow you to manage them through something like an app on your phone or website on your computer.
And the security on these things is DREADFUL.
Many have lousy stock passwords preset in them, and some can’t even be changed.
You’re stuck with it!
If there’s any good news, it’s that the feds claim no one with any of these medical implants has been “hacked” yet.
But you know that day is coming.
Ever hear of ransomware? It’s when you pop open the wrong email… or visit the wrong website… and your computer downloads a virus that locks it up.
On the screen is a message: If you want access to your computer – and the data inside – you’ll need to wire X amount of money to some off-shore account.
And hackers now make $5 BILLION a year off this sickening scam.
Hackers could target HUMAN bodies next
Hackers have already taken entire cities, police stations, schools, and hospitals hostage.
Now imagine how much MORE they can make when they can hold human LIVES hostage instead of computers – when it’s your insulin pump, pacemaker, or one of the other growing numbers of medical implants that they’ve hacked.
They might even give you a surge of insulin and put you into hypoglycemia… or make your heart flutter… just to provide you with a little taste of what they CAN do to you anytime they like.
Will people pay up?
You’d better believe they will!
Protect yourself from the invasion of the Body Hackers
So far, the only saving grace is that in most cases, you have to be physically near the victim to hack these medical implants. But that could turn a crowded hospital lobby into a perfect target zone.
And if they ever find a way to gain access remotely… which you KNOW will happen sooner or later… all bets are off.
So weigh any convenience of a “connected” device against those risks. The older unconnected versions often worked JUST as well.
It might still be in your interest to have one. But if that’s the case make sure it’s not only password-protected but that the password is unique, random, and can be changed – and that you can override it at ANY TIME to regain control of your device.