Today at a news conference in the Delano, GA city hall federal spokesmen explained why they were involved in the investigation of four recent suicides committed by patients of the world-famous Timothy Leary Memorial Clinic for Depression. All four of the patients, whose names are being withheld for medical privacy reasons, were undergoing treatment for depression using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS).
“The Federal Bureau of Inquiry became involved,” spokesman Jonathan Quest said; “when anonymous tips indicated that all four patients were known drug abusers who were reportedly using the treatment to get extreme endorphin highs.”
Dr. Timotheus Misstrauisch, Clinic Director said: “We were devastated to learn that seemingly legitimate patients referred to this clinic were using our treatment as a method for obtaining illicit if perfectly natural drugs.”
Immanuel C. Securitage from ECS-CERT explained that the FBI requested their help when it became obvious that the controls for the rTMS machine from Robotron Medical had been hacked to provide unauthorized excessive stimulation. Securitage said that a previously undiscovered hacker collective in Atlanta appears to have been responsible for producing a smart phone application called OurTMSDrugs that spoofs an actual app developed by Robotron for clinical use. It is not clear if the patients or some third-party was actually responsible for using the app to initiate the stimulation that would result in the recreational drug dose of endorphins.
When asked if there were adequate cybersecurity controls on the rTMS machine, Misstrauisch replied that: “We have complied with all Federal Drug Administration regulations on medical device cybersecurity. We do not currently have a cybersecurity person working at the clinic, we have been looking for a rockstar applicant with experience in medical device cybersecurity for four years now. The only applications that we have received to date are people with experience in hacking medical devices, not securing them.”
Erich Mielke, a spokesman for Robotron, reported that: “Our rTMSApp provides a secure linkage to our machines with hardcoded credentials that are matched to a specific machine at the time of purchase. We do not use transmission encryption to protect the data in-transit since only the App on an approved device can communicate with that machine.”
When asked how rTMS use could lead to suicide when the FDA has approved the devices, Misstrauisch explained: “The level of stimulation seen in the records for these individuals appears to be so high that the endorphin producing components inside the brain were probably irreparably damaged with little or no natural endorphin production. This is a classic recipe for severe depression.”