Report: Some Pacemakers Could Be Hacked

A new report warns that users of one specific pacemaker could be at risk of identity theft.

The report by two doctors says that it is possible to hack into the Medtronic implanted defibrillator Maximo.

The doctors plan to make public the report in May that says they have found a way to hack into these types of devices and that allows them to intercept a patients data like a social security number, or in a worst case scenario, manipulate the device in a way that would interfere with its task of shocking the heart.

Dr. Stephen Hulstead, an electro-physiologist says news of this study is misleading his patients into thinking their devices could be hacked.

"I think at this point in time, as the heart society says, there has never been any report that anyone has been able to hack into the device to get any information or reprogram the device at all," Dr. Hulstead points out.

He says reports that a defibrillator could be hacked are scaring folks without reason.

"I think the chance of any type of interaction with this system is minimal."

Medtronic released a statement about the report saying "while we believe such risks are remote we nevertheless take the issue of patient safety and device security very seriously. Patients and physicians can have confidence in the safety and integrity of these devices."