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
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2009-5027
Published: 2014-12-26
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: CVE-2010-2062. Reason: This candidate is a reservation duplicate of CVE-2010-2062. Notes: All CVE users should reference CVE-2010-2062 instead of this candidate. All references and descriptions in this candidate have been removed to pre...

CVE-2010-1441
Published: 2014-12-26
Multiple heap-based buffer overflows in VideoLAN VLC media player before 1.0.6 allow remote attackers to cause a denial of service (application crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code via a crafted byte stream to the (1) A/52, (2) DTS, or (3) MPEG Audio decoder.

CVE-2010-1442
Published: 2014-12-26
VideoLAN VLC media player before 1.0.6 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (invalid memory access and application crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code via a crafted byte stream to the (1) AVI, (2) ASF, or (3) Matroska (aka MKV) demuxer.

CVE-2010-1443
Published: 2014-12-26
The parse_track_node function in modules/demux/playlist/xspf.c in the XSPF playlist parser in VideoLAN VLC media player before 1.0.6 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (NULL pointer dereference and application crash) via an empty location element in an XML Shareable Playlist Format...

CVE-2010-1444
Published: 2014-12-26
The ZIP archive decompressor in VideoLAN VLC media player before 1.0.6 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (invalid memory access and application crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code via a crafted archive.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join us Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to hear what employers are really looking for in a chief information security officer -- it may not be what you think.