According to a newly published research paper from the Harvard Medical School backed Medical Device Security Center, it appears that hackers could use wireless technology to turn off heart pacemakers.
As unlikely as it sounds, the boffins reckon that people with an implantable cardiac defibrillator (or pacemaker as they are also known) to help their hearts keep a regular beat are at risk from hackers who could interfere with the device and even theoretically deliver an electric shock to the heart of an unsuspecting patient.
This is made possible by the unencrypted radio signals transmitted by the devices to enable reprogramming by doctors when necessary. "We believe the risk to patients is low and that patients should not be alarmed" researchers have said. Well that's OK then. Perhaps it has something to do with the $30,000 worth of kit required to perform the hack or the close proximity to the victim that is also a requirement.
Or maybe most hackers have better, and more profitable, things to do than hack into a heartbeat for a laugh…