How fast technology moves – BAN

December 6, 2007

Saw this short article about a new IEEE working group on a networking standard for devices in or on the human body. One cited use case is controlling a pacemaker from a wristwatch, which makes a lot of sense – it’d be pretty nice to be able to make small tweaks to devices like that without requiring open heart surgery.

What is kind of scary though is the security implications. The security disaster that was WEP shows us how important this stuff is to get right. Presumably a pacemaker or other critical device wouldn’t have a “turn off” function, but still…the implications sound like science fiction. Your wristwatch is pulling data from the web, gets cracked, and the next time you shake someone’s hand it tries to pass a digital virus to the devices in or on them…

Realistically though, pretty much everyone is far more likely to die in a car accident than have a digital virus for the forseeable future. So buckle up! But when it comes around, also be sure to apply security updates for your body =)

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