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Security Risks in the Sensors of Implantable Medical Devices

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Published on May 16, 2013

The type of sensors that pick up the rhythm of a beating heart in implanted cardiac defibrillators and pacemakers are vulnerable to tampering, according to a new study involving University of Michigan researchers and others in an international team. In experiments in simulated human models, the researchers demonstrated that they could forge an erratic heartbeat with radio frequency electromagnetic waves. Theoretically, a false signal like the one they created could inhibit needed pacing or induce unnecessary defibrillation shocks.

About the Professor: Kevin Fu is an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science (http://web.eecs.umich.edu/~kevinfu/) at the University of Michigan College of Engineering (http://www.engin.umich.edu/). His research interests include making embedded computer systems smarter with better security and safety, reduced
energy consumption, and faster performance.

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