Risk
5/25/2010
02:15 PM
50%
50%

VA Security Compromised By Medical Devices

Malware has infected more than 122 medical devices in the last 14 months, a Veterans Affairs official told Congress.

At a congressional hearing last week, Roger Baker, assistant secretary for information and technology at the Department of Veterans Affairs, said during the past 14 months more than 122 medical devices have been compromised by malware.

Baker, who testified before the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, said one of the "critical challenges" facing the department is protecting its medical devices from cyber threats.

"The major challenge with securing medical devices is that, because their operation must be certified, the application of operating system patches and malware protection updates is tightly restricted," Baker said. "This inherent vulnerability can increase the potential for cyber attacks on the VA trusted network by creating risk to patient safety," Baker added.

The VA defines a medical device as any device used in patient healthcare for diagnoses, treatment, or monitoring, or that has gone through the Food and Drug Administration's premarket review process. The VA is the federal government's largest medical care provider and has more than 50,000 networked medical devices.

"These infections have the potential to greatly affect the world-class patient care that is expected by our customers. In addition to compromising data and the system, these incidents are also extremely costly to the VA in terms of time and money spent cleansing infected medical devices," Baker said.

Last year the VA took steps to prevent these attacks by mandating that all medical devices at Veterans Health Administration facilities connected to the VA network implement a medical device isolation architecture using a virtual local area network structure.

Currently the VA has a medical device protection program in place which calls for pre-procurement assessments for medical devices, and outlines a comprehensive protection strategy that includes communications, training, validation, scanning, remediation, and patching for medical devices.

According to Baker, the VA's Office of Information and Technology and the Office of Information Protection and Risk Management are working to make sure that the more than 50,000 VA medical devices have isolation architecture by the end of the year.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Five Emerging Security Threats - And What You Can Learn From Them
At Black Hat USA, researchers unveiled some nasty vulnerabilities. Is your organization ready?
Flash Poll
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7445
Published: 2015-10-15
The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) subsystem in the Linux kernel through 4.x mishandles requests for Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) objects, which allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via an application that processes graphics data, as demonstrated b...

CVE-2015-4948
Published: 2015-10-15
netstat in IBM AIX 5.3, 6.1, and 7.1 and VIOS 2.2.x, when a fibre channel adapter is used, allows local users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-5660
Published: 2015-10-15
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in eXtplorer before 2.1.8 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests that execute PHP code.

CVE-2015-6003
Published: 2015-10-15
Directory traversal vulnerability in QNAP QTS before 4.1.4 build 0910 and 4.2.x before 4.2.0 RC2 build 0910, when AFP is enabled, allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files by leveraging access to an OS X (1) user or (2) guest account.

CVE-2015-6333
Published: 2015-10-15
Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) 1.1j allows local users to gain privileges via vectors involving addition of an SSH key, aka Bug ID CSCuw46076.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join Dark Reading community editor Marilyn Cohodas and her guest, David Shearer, (ISC)2 Chief Executive Officer, as they discuss issues that keep IT security professionals up at night, including results from the recent 2016 Black Hat Attendee Survey.