Researchers Develop Shield to Protect Wireless Implants from Attack

Wireless connectivity in implantable devices is a good thing, allowing doctors to monitor patients to ensure they're getting the best care. But these potentially lifesaving connections also make the devices vulnerable to hostile attacks. Luckily, a team of researchers from MIT and University of Massachusetts Amherst are working on a solution.

At the Association for Computing Machinery's Sigcomm Conference, taking place in August, the researchers will present a transmitter designed to jam unauthorized signals operating on an implatable device's operating frequency. Called a shield, the transmitter will be small enough to be worn as a watch or necklace and can be used with existing implants that don't have built-in encryption.

From MIT News, here's how it works:

The key to the system...is a new technique that allows the shield to simultaneously send and receive signals in the same frequency band. With ordinary wireless technology, that's not possible: The transmitted signal would interfere with the received signal, rendering it unintelligible.

Would your company invest in this kind of security?

—Jamie Hartford