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St. Jude Says Muddy Waters, MedSec Video Shows Security Feature, Not Flaw

Feud between St. Jude Medical and Muddy Waters and MedSec continues with the former reiterating safety feature of its implantable devices.

St. Jude Medical has refuted the recent flawed-device allegation made by Muddy Waters Capital and MedSec and has issued a statement saying the “flaw” was actually a “security feature.” Muddy Waters and cybersecurity firm MedSec had released a video on August 29 to demonstrate that some of St. Jude’s implantable devices were soft targets of cyberattacks.

“We want our patients to know that they can feel secure about the cybersecurity protections in place on our devices,” said Michael T. Rousseau of St. Jude Medical adding that the “crash” implied by the Muddy Waters video was in reality a display of the Radio Frequency (RF) Telemetry Lockout security feature of the company’s pacemakers.

“If attacked, our pacemakers place themselves into a 'safe' mode to ensure the device continues to work,” further elaborated Phil Ebeling of St. Jude Medical.

St. Jude claims its implantable devices include features that bring down dangers of unauthorized commands issued to them and thwart crash attacks.

For full press statement, click here.

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User Rank: Ninja
8/31/2016 | 2:44:03 PM
Collaboration is key to uncover and remedy vulnerabilities
When it comes to security of medical devices, this type of article makes me nervous.  I would like to see all parties collaborate to test and strenghten the security of implantable medical devices rather than having a war of words over media.
User Rank: Ninja
8/31/2016 | 11:07:27 PM
Re: Collaboration is key to uncover and remedy vulnerabilities
I agree, but I would say a caveat to that is that the collaboration should be closed source. Open source collaboration was a good idea in theory but it seems to do more harm than good.
User Rank: Ninja
8/31/2016 | 11:09:45 PM
If attacked, our pacemakers place themselves into a 'safe' mode to ensure the device continues to work,
Referring to the title of my post, I think this needs to be more clearly defined. What constitutes an attack? Do authroized users have the ability to make changes as needed after the implants have been implanted, and if so can this behavior be mimicked, etc?
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
9/3/2016 | 5:11:09 PM
Isn't "It's not a bug; it's a feature!" the oldest software-engineering excuse in the book?
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