Kevin Fu, an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and his team have been working with pacemakers for quite some time. Having reverse engineered a pacemaker, the team found a frightening loop hole. It turns out that a built-in test mechanism for the device includes a bug that can be exploited by hackers.
There is no cryptographic key used to secure the wireless communication between the control device and the pacemaker. This makes it real easy to build your own wireless device that can control the pacemaker. And by “control the pacemaker,” I mean shut it off. Hopefully, this discovery will lead to defense mechanisms put in place that’ll defend those who wear a pacemaker from any remote attack on their heart. Until then, you might want to keep your pacemaker on the DL.