With hacking in the news, a security expert in the United States has shown that devices for treating diabetes, such as insulin pumps and monitors, are also vulnerable and could by targeted by computer hackers.
The security professional, himself a diabetic, has found problems with insulin pumps and blood sugar monitors that allow them to be remotely controlled by a hacker, which could mean people receiving the wrong amount of insulin to treat their condition.
A number of such devices, including pacemakers, monitors and defibrillators have been developed that can transmit vital information from the patient to health professionals, some of which can be remotely controlled by medical professionals .
The increasing automation of medical devices and lack of software encryption leave them vulnerable to attack. Radcliffe was able to show how data between USBs and insulin pump could be intercepted, and different instructions given. He said that blood sugar monitors could also be affected, as wireless signals sent between a sensor and the machine could be hacked into.
Jay Radcliffe stated “My initial reaction was that this was really cool from a technical perspective. The second reaction was one of maybe sheer terror, to know that there’s no security around the devices which are a very active part of keeping me alive.”
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already warned about the potential for problems concerning software and design errors linked to drug pumps .

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