Pacemakers and other Medical Devices Can be Hacked

Hacking a computer is not a difficult task now a days but killing or injuring a person like this could be interesting case to resolve & very good tactics to make people scary about these things & nice planning to promote and sell their new medical product as well.

Computers and smartphones aren’t the only electronics that can be hacked. Alarmingly, during the past few years several researchers have found that wireless and wearable medical devices, like pacemakers, insulin-delivery systems, and neural implants, are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Though none have reportedly been hacked in field use yet, researchers have been hard at work finding ways to secure such medical devices before it’s too late.

A team of professors and graduate students from Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Ind., and Princeton University recently developed a prototype firewall that could go a long way in warding off attacks.
The group includes Meng Zhang, an electrical engineering graduate student at Princeton; IEEE Fellow Anand Raghunathan, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue; and IEEE Fellow Niraj K. Jha, a professor of electrical engineering at Princeton.

The team was inspired to develop its prototype, Medmon, after researching the vulnerability of a variety of medical devices in 2011, including pacemakers, glucose-monitoring and insulin-delivery systems, neural implants, and so-called smart prosthetics. “Our work showed that these are surprisingly easy to hack,” Raghunathan says.

“The correct functioning of implantable and wearable medical appliances is life-critical,” he says. “Any security attacks that can disrupt them, or even leak private information, are of great concern.”
Breaking into an insulin pump is not difficult, and it takes only a small investment. “A few research groups, including ours, have shown that medical devices can be hacked using relatively inexpensive [worth less than US $1000] off-the-shelf equipment such as a PC and a software-programmable radio,” Jha says. “We were able to snoop on sensitive health information and take control of the insulin pump to prevent the delivery of insulin or to deliver it when it was not needed.”

Although the likelihood of someone’s insulin pump being hacked is considered low, the researchers say it’s important to act now, before an incident occurs.

But I think, this research is in its preliminary stages so its difficult to say that hackers have access or can attack these devices!
I think, perhaps we need a new protocol or VPN like thing for the implanted devices.

1 comment:

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