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Medtronic issues alert for vulnerable defibrillators, home devices

The Department of Homeland Security is aware of the issue.

The Department of Homeland Security and Minnesota-based Medtronic have issued an alert notifying the public that more than 20 Medtronic products are vulnerable to being hacked. 

The alert says hackers with short-range access to the devices can interfere, generate, modify or intercept a radio frequency from Medtronic's Conexus telemetry system, which, in layman's terms, can impact a product's functionality and/or allow hackers to access sensitive data. 

Vulnerable products include the MyCareLink Monitor, CareLink Monitor, CareLink 2090 Programmer, and all of the Medtronic implanted cardiac devices listed below. 

  • MyCareLink Monitor, Versions 24950 and 24952
  • CareLink Monitor, Version 2490C
  • CareLink 2090 Programmer
  • Amplia CRT-D (all models)
  • Claria CRT-D (all models)
  • Compia CRT-D (all models)
  • Concerto CRT-D (all models)
  • Concerto II CRT-D (all models)
  • Consulta CRT-D (all models)
  • Evera ICD (all models)
  • Maximo II CRT-D and ICD (all models)
  • Mirro ICD (all models)
  • Nayamed ND ICD (all models)
  • Primo ICD (all models)
  • Protecta ICD and CRT-D (all models)
  • Secura ICD (all models)
  • Virtuoso ICD (all models)
  • Virtuoso II ICD (all models)
  • Visia AF ICD (all models)
  • Viva CRT-D (all models)

According to the Star Tribune, the issue affects up to 750,000 Medtronic products, but not the Fridley-based company's pacemakers. 

Medtronic is encouraging anyone with the aforementioned products to maintain physical control of home monitors and programmers; only use products obtained directly from a healthcare provider or Medtronic; avoid connecting devices with USB ports or other physical connections; only connect programmers with implanted devices at a hospital or clinic; only use home monitors in a private or controlled environment; and report any concerning issues to a healthcare provider or Medtronic. 

Patients are encouraged to keep monitors and programmers plugged in so they receive important security and software updates. 

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