Aedan Coffey is a consultant electronic design engineer working in Ireland
We got hacked. Some nice person somewhere in the world managed to get into the little black box that connects our house to the internet and modify it. The result was that every time anyone in the house clicked on a link on a web page they were misdirected to some rather unsavoury ones instead.
To us this was merely an unpleasant inconvenience; no permanent damage was done and a few days later we had a new router and it was all fixed. But what happens when a medical device gets hacked? It’s probably not too serious if somebody manages to download all the data from the activity tracker on your wrist, but imagine the consequences of a pacemaker that is suddenly set to defibrillate continuously at its maximum power, an insulin pump that delivers its complete reservoir of insulin in a few moments or a ventilator that just stops working without any alarms going off.
You may think these things can’t happen. ...continue reading