FORMER UNITED STATES VICE PRESIDENT Dick Cheney has opened his virtual heart about fears that he could have been assassinated by remote control during his time in office.
Speaking to the CBS flagship current affairs show 60 Minutes, Cheney's doctor Jonathan Rhiner said he told the manufacturer to disconnect the wireless control for Cheney's pacemaker to reduce the risk of terrorist attack.
Echoing the plot of TV drama Homeland, coincidentally broadcast by CBS subsidiary Showtime, in which a fictionalised vice president is cyber-attacked via his defibrillator, Cheney said he believed it to be "an accurate portrayal of what was possible".
He said that despite suffering five heart attacks, there was no question of his ability to carry out his duties due to physical health, cognitive ability or depression, claiming he was "as good as I could be given that I was 67 years old and a heart patient".
However, CBS talking head Dr Sanjay Gupta suggested that the pacemaker could have affected Cheney's decision-making due to "limited bloodflow to the brain".
Gupta went on to say, "It might sound far fetched, but years later this scene from the Showtime drama Homeland showed just how it could be done to the fictional vice president."
Although medical cybercrime is considered a genuine risk in terms of hypotheticals, it might struggle to become a significant threat in time to kill Cheney before he receives his royalties from his new book "Heart", written in collaboration with his heart surgeon, which of course was also mentioned on the show.
Although we don't question that wireless devices can be hacked, we can't help but think that there might have been a few vested interests tilting this story. In addition to its promotion of the Homeland TV show and Cheney's book, the interview was sponsored by a well-known medication. µ
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