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Hackers could kill patients by stopping their pacemakers as health tech is under threat, research claims

Hackers heart risk

Royal Academy of Engineers warns that online devices such as smart TVs act as a gateway for hackers to feed viruses into NHS and government departments

HACKERS could kill patients by stopping their pacemakers — just like in the hit TV series Homeland, a report warns.

Health tech is open to cyberattacks, the Royal Academy of Engineers says.

 Experts warn that the NHS and government departments are at risk of cyber attacks that could prove to be deadly
Experts warn that the NHS and government departments are at risk of cyber attacks that could prove to be deadly

Online-connected devices such as smart TVs and home hubs are also a threat.

They act as a gateway for viruses that could cripple the NHS or government departments.

Vulnerabilities in aircraft, cars and nuclear power stations could also be exploited, it is feared.

Report author Professor Nick Jennings said: “If not dealt with then this will lead to deaths.”

Some US hospitals have already been infected by the Wannacry and Medjack computer viruses after hackers targeted unprotected devices.

The report warns of the dangers of trendy “smart” gadgets that can be controlled from a mobile phone, such as lights, thermostats and kettles.

How hackers are stealing holidaymaker's personal data by infiltrating phones through fake hotel WiFi

Professor Jennings added: “Too many devices are currently too hard for consumers to make safe and pose a risk straight out of the box.”

Professor Rachel Cooper, from Lancaster University, said: “It is vital that we improve the level of technical literacy and skills to enable the public to become involved in reinforcing security.”