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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hacking medical devices

Recent articles in Wired's ThreatLevel and Toronto's The Globe and Mail discuss concerns over security of personal medical devices. Researchers have shown in the past that insulin pumps, pacemakers and defibrillators could be hacked through their wireless connections.  Wait, huh?  So somebody could be sitting there and their pacemaker could change rhythm or their insulin pump could change the dosage or the defibrillator could fire without warning?  That's uncool.  Really uncool.  Yeah, it is.  But don't these kinds of devices have to undergo all kinds of intense testing and certification before they are marketed?  You bet.  Unfortunately it sounds like there wasn't much security built into these devices in the first place.  Probably a lot of different reasons why - cost, power consumption, and more than likely the thought that nobody would even think to mess with something like this.  It would be nice to think nobody would ever mess with these devices, but as we see more and more each day, that simply isn't true.  People will hack anything.  Hopefully a solution can be found before this becomes a widespread problem.