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Some medical devices that use Bluetooth technology may be vulnerable to hackers, federal health officials are warning.
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The cybersecurity threats, dubbed SweynTooth, may enable someone in a patient's immediate vicinity to interfere with Bluetooth low-energy communications that let medical equipment such as pacemakers, stimulators and insulin pumps pair with another device and exchange information, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a notice Tuesday.
The hacker might be able to crash the device, cause it to stop working or access capabilities typically available only to the wearer, the agency said. A spokesperson told FOX Business that anyone trying to tamper with the device wouldn't be able to hack it remotely; he or should would have to be within Bluetooth range.
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“Medical devices are becoming increasingly connected, and connected devices have inherent risks, which make them vulnerable to security breaches,” said Dr. Suzanne Schwartz, deputy director of the agency's office of partnerships and technology innovation. "These breaches potentially impact the safety and effectiveness of the device and, if not remedied, may lead to patient harm.”