Software Transparency in Implantable Medical Devices

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* Article: Killed by Code: Software Transparency in Implantable Medical Devices. Karen Sandler.


"We focus specifically on the security and privacy risks of implantable medical devices, specifically pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators, but they are a microcosm of the wider software liability issues which must be addressed as we become more dependent on embedded systems and devices. The broader objective of our research is to debunk the “security through obscurity” misconception by showing that vulnerabilities are spotted and fixed faster in FOSS programs compared to proprietary alternatives. The argument for public access to source code of IMDs [Implantable Medical Devices] can, and should be, extended to all the software people interact with everyday. The well-documented recent incidents of software malfunctions in voting booths, cars, commercial airlines, and financial markets are just the beginning of a problem that can only be addressed by requiring the use of open, auditable source code in safety-critical computerized devices."