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FDA issues alert for 465,000 pacemakers vulnerable to hacking

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an Alert notifying nearly a half-million people their pacemaker could be hacked. PHOTO: MGN

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an Alert notifying nearly a half-million people their pacemaker could be hacked.

In an alert issued on Tuesday, the FDA states 465,000 implanted devices have cyber-security vulnerabilities which could allow an unauthorized user to mess with pacemaker programming.

Such vulnerabilities include modifying commands to the pacemaker that could result in rapid battery depletion or changing the pacing.

Since pacemakers contain small computer systems, anyone with the affected pacemaker models needs to see their doctor for a firmware update the FDA approved last week. The update only takes a few minutes and the pacemaker will run on backup mode until completed.

The models affected are Abbott (formerly St. Jude Medical) implantable cardiac pacemakers and includes cardiac resynchronization therapy pacemakers.

The devices affected are as follows:

-Accent

-Anthem

-Accent MRI

-Accent ST

-Assurity

-Allure

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