Insulin pumps, monitors vulnerable to hackingBy Robertson, Jordan; Associated Press Via Yahoo! News,
Publication Date: August 5, 2011
Article discusses security flaws discovered in remotely programmable insulin pumps and blood sugar monitors that make the instruments vulnerable to attacks from a computer hacker. The flaws were discovered by a security researcher who is himself a diabetic and wears an insulin pump that can be used with a remote control. The user found that his pump could be reprogrammed to respond to a stranger’s remote via an easily obtainable USB device. The researcher also found that he could intercept signals sent wirelessly from a sensor to a blood sugar monitor. Broadcasting a signal that is stronger than the real time authentic readings would trick the monitor into displaying old information, which in turn could result in the wearer adjusting insulin dosage improperly. With a powerful enough antenna, this could be accomplished by an attacker from a distance of half a mile. Although medical devices are increasingly being automated to include wireless chips, the devices are typically too small to house processors powerful enough to perform advanced encryption to scramble their communications. Medical device makers reportedly downplay the threat from such hacking attacks, arguing that they have been performed by skilled security experts and are unlikely to occur in the real world. The researcher presented his findings at the 2011 Black Hat computer security conference.
Published by: Associated Press (Website:http://www.ap.org)
Link to text: http://news.yahoo.com/insulin-pumps-monitors-vulnerable-hacking-100605899.html