Dick Cheney Feared Assassination Via Medical Device Hacking: 'I Was Aware of the Danger'

Cheney revealed his doctors disabled its wireless capabilities as a precaution.

ByABC News
October 19, 2013, 10:27 AM

Oct. 19, 2013— -- For "Homeland" fans who have kept up with the series' twists and turns, the fear of medical device hacking by terrorists seems to have taken a real-life turn for one very public official.

(Spoiler alert for those who haven't kept up with the Showtime drama.)

Former Vice President Dick Cheney came clean in an interview to CBS' "60 Minutes," revealing that when he had a device implanted to regulate his heartbeat in 2007, he had his doctors disable its wireless capabilities to prevent against a possible assassination attempt.

Cheney said that at the time, he was concerned about reports that hackers could break into the devices and kill their owners.

"I was aware of the danger, if you will, that existed," he said.

While "Homeland" wasn't even a blip on the television radar when Cheney made his choice, a similar fate befell one of the show's characters at the end of last season.

"I found [the depiction] credible because I knew from the experience that we had assessing the need for my own device that it was an accurate portrayal of what was possible," Cheney said of the award-winning series' assassination plot.

The FDA took on the concern of breached medical devices after the mysterious death of hacker Barnaby Jones in August. Jones claimed to have proof that devices like pacemakers could, in fact, be hacked.

The agency said in a statement that there was no cause for alarm for the nearly 3 million Americans with pacemakers.

The FDA said it "is not aware of any patient injuries or deaths associated with these incidents."