Feeds

US Veep's wireless heart implant disabled to stop TERRORIST HACKERS

Dick Cheney's defibrillator adjusted at the factory to stop attack depicted on Homeland

The essential guide to IT transformation

A defibrillator fitted to US vice president Dick Cheney had its wireless functions removed in the factory, in order to ensure hackers – or terrorists – could not kill him by attacking the device.

Defibrillators and their close cousins the pacemaker have been fingered as a security risk before. Last year we reported that radio interference could set them off under some circumstances. Back in 2008 similar concerns were raised by The Medical Device Security Centre.

It now appears that US security authorities were aware of the potential problem in 2007, the year then-Veep Dick Cheney was fitted with a new defibrillator by Dr. Jonathan Reiner.

In a video posted here and embdeded below, Dr Reiner says “It seemed to me to be a bad idea for the vice-president of the United States to have a device that maybe someone on a rope line or someone in the next hotel room or somebody downstairs might be able to get into, hack into.”

Turning to Cheney he says: ”I worried that someone could kill you.”

Cheney responds: “I was aware of the danger.”

The idea of a vice-presidential implant being used to attack the holder of the office often said to have only one function – having a heartbeat – was later used in an episode of US television drama Homeland. Cheney says in the video that episode featuring the attack “was an accurate portrayal of what was possible.” ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.