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The Wall Street Journal: Abbott software updates aim to fix pacemaker battery issues, hacking risks

Abbott Laboratories released new software updates designed to protect hundreds of thousands of implanted pacemakers from external hacking that could harm heart patients and to guard against dangerous battery depletions in a different cardiac device linked to two patient deaths.

U.S. health regulators flagged the safety risks of the devices and issued a blistering warning letter earlier this year criticizing Abbott’s ABT, -0.30% handling of the problems. Abbott acquired the products with its $23.6 billion purchase of St. Jude Medical in January and said the issues cited in the warning letter occurred before the deal closed.

The software patches underscore the growing concern about cybersecurity of medical devices that are increasingly connected via the internet or other networks.

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