St. Jude Medical releases cybersecurity updates for vulnerable heart devices

St. Jude Medical, which Abbott Laboratories acquired in 2016, is releasing new cybersecurity updates for its implanted heart devices. The move comes five months after a government launched an investigation into the devices over claims they were vulnerable to dangerous hacks, reports Reuters.

The Food and Drug Administration conducted an assessment over the risks and benefits of the Merlin@home Transmitter and determined the health benefits outweigh any cybersecurity risks. While the agency confirmed claims that cyber vulnerabilities could allow hackers to remotely access the devices, there have been no reported cases of patients harmed by the vulnerabilities, reports Reuters.

The updates will automatically be sent out to St. Jude home monitors, which allow physicians to track device performance.

The FDA is advising patients and physicians to continue using the implanted cardiac devices after the upgrades, according to the report.

News of the vulnerabilities broke in August, when short selling firm Muddy Waters and cybersecurity firm MedSec Holdings claimed the devices contained numerous security bugs.

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