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Dept. of Homeland Security Provides A Timely Update On Abbott, St. Jude

Dept. of Homeland Security Provides A Timely Update On Abbott, St. Jude

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT)'s acquisition of St. Jude Medical Inc (previously traded (NYSE: STJ) doesn't erase an ongoing concerns shared by many investor, which were brought into the spotlight by the notable short seller Muddy Waters.

Muddy Waters' Carson Block made the case against St. Jude very clear: The company's medical technology implants pose a very scary and very real safety risk. Muddy Waters' initial short report was aided by MedSec, a vulnerability research and security solutions provider for healthcare companies and was immediately dissected by some of Wall Street's top analysts.

Following Muddy Waters' initial report, the research firm and St. Jude engaged in some back-and-forth which culminated in a lawsuit in which St. Jude alleged Block's firm propagated false information to lower the company's stock price.

What Happened On Tuesday

The Department of Homeland Security issued a new cybersecurity update for users of St. Jude's implantable medical devices.

The report read, "MedSec Holdings has identified a channel accessible by nonendpoint ('man-in-the-middle') vulnerability in St. Jude Medical's Merlin@home transmitter, which affects both the RF and inductive models. St. Jude Medical has validated the vulnerability and produced a new software version that mitigates this vulnerability. A third-party security research firm has verified that the new software version mitigates the identified vulnerability."

MedSec's Statement

"Although it is good to see St Jude Medical and Abbott Labs take some responsibility for the additional issues in their technology suite, severe issues remain unaddressed at this time," MedSec's CEO Justine Bone said in a statement. "We eagerly await St Jude Medical's remediation of the vulnerabilities within the implants themselves including the back door which allows an attacker to generate shocks and/or disable the implant remotely over RF."


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