Heartbeat Encryption - Literally
2008 09 05

From: news.softpedia.com

Received from Robert S.


Researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong have developed a solution for securing wireless communication between the modern medical implants and maintenance/monitoring devices. The solution encrypts the communication using a 64-bit key, which is generated by using each patient's heartbeat.

Modern medical implants significantly reduce the need for follow-up surgical interventions. Many such implants are used to regulate vital functions, and can be monitored, updated or controlled remotely via a wireless connection. Regardless of how weird it might sound, hacking such implants is theoretically possible since their connection is just as vulnerable as the connection between other wireless devices.

Obviously, such scenarios could have fatal consequences if we're talking, for example, about pacemakers. Therefore, using reliable encryption algorithms in order to secure communication with such devices makes sense. According to the researchers, the heartbeat-based encryption is not easy to crack because of the constantly changing nature of the heartbeat, which makes it impossible to replicate by using an older record.

The heartbeat is measured using a person's pulse but, as Carmen Poon, one of the researchers involved in the development of this technology, explains, there are natural minor fluctuations in the Interpulse Interval (IPI). This is irrelevant during a medical intervention because the technology works by taking two measurements in real time, but secures it from hacking attempts using previously registered records.

One measurement is taken by the implant itself and one is taken at the same time from the patient's index finger. The interval between 16 successive heartbeats is used to generate a calibrated 64-bit key. Successful communication between the implants and the external devices is possible only when the keys generated using the two measurements match to a great degree.

During their tests, the researchers used an ECG and a PPG to analyze the data; the registered error rate was of 6.5, which they note is close to the 4.2 error rate of biometric systems like fingerprint recognition. According to Poon, this makes it accurate enough to reject false keys, but flexible enough to account for measurement variations at different points on the body.

Article from: http://news.softpedia.com/news/
Heartbeat-Encryption-Literally-93081.shtml



Related Articles
The future of mobiles: powered by a heartbeat
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=SMI20071213&articleId=7606
Air Force Plan: Hack Your Nervous System


Latest News from our Front Page

UK hospital accused of selling body parts for booze
2014 07 31
A leading cancer hospital is to be investigated following allegations that one of its staff members exchanged human body samples for whisky and cash. The calls to investigate Christies NHS foundation trust came after the accusation was made by an anonymous whistleblower, prompting British MP Rosie Cooper to contact the watchdog, the Human Tissue Authority (HTA), the Manchester Evening News reports. British ...
15 dead, over 220 injured as multiple gas explosions hit Taiwan city
2014 07 31
Several blasts have ripped through Kaohsiung, a city in south-western Taiwan, killing 15, injuring over 220 and overturning the cars in the street, the Fire Agency said. The cause is thought to be gas leaks in the sewage system. The number of those injured is expected to rise, the Fire Department said. Many were also taken to schools across the city ...
TYPOGRAPHICAL ERROR on front page of alleged U.S. criteria for terrorist list
2014 07 31
We highlighted the recent report from Glenn Greenwald’s site, The Intercept, about the United States administration’s ’Terror Watch List’, and how "a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, spells out the government’s secret rules for putting individuals on its main terrorist database". Read: BLACKLISTED: The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist A reader with a sharp ...
Why is the State so obsessed by, and careless with, deadly pathogens?
2014 07 31
Earlier this month, we ran a report on the CDC anthrax blunder. As if that weren’t bad enough, there have been additional exposures since we posted that report. This time, it involved the shipment of live, highly contagious, and deadly H5N1 avian influenza samples. As previously reported, as many as 841 scientists and staff members at a US Centers for Disease ...
‘Catastrophic’: Hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer warns of EMP
2014 07 31
Imminent: ‘Only a matter of time’ until entire electric grid destroyed by natural or man-made event… Billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer is warning investors – and more broadly, lawmakers and leaders – about the potential destructive power of an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, which could be triggered by solar events or artificially, via blasts in the atmosphere. According to Singer, research ...
More News »