Actual Cases

Researcher’s heart problems uncover security gap

Marie Moe, who is a SINTEF researcher in cybersecurity, discovered that her heart is being regulated by a pacemaker which can be hacked.

Researcher’s heart problems uncover security gap
SINTEF researcher Marie Moe has a pacemaker. To her surprise, she discovered that it can be hacked. She recently held a presentation about the dangers when “everything” is connected to the Internet. Photo: Andreas Buarø

 

“I was shocked to discover that my pacemaker could be connected to the internet”, says Marie Moe. “It was then I realised that it’s possible for some computer nerd to hack the system and effectively control my heart. It was a very unpleasant experience”, she says.

She recently attended the 2017 Lerchendal Conference in Trondheim, Norway, themed ‘Digital Force for Change’, where cybersecurity was one of the subsidiary topics. Moe’s personal experience of the importance of this subject has resulted in her currently leading a SINTEF project looking into pacemakers and their security.

“My pacemaker can be hacked and the personal data it contains stolen”, she says. “In the worst case, human error by a hacker could be fatal. Or I could become exposed to blackmail. We cannot trust this technology. We’re very vulnerable now that anything and everything can be connected to the internet”, she explains.

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