Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Operational Security //

Policy

4/17/2017
06:06 PM
Curtis Franklin
Curtis Franklin
Curt Franklin
50%
50%

FDA Warns Abbott on IoT Vulnerability & More

The FDA delivered a strongly worded warning to Abbott Labs about continuing vulnerabilities and defects in implantable devices.

Cleaning up a mess is never fun. Cleaning up an inherited mess is worse, and that's the position in which Abbott Labs finds itself after a harsh letter of warning from the US FDA.

At issue are the pacemakers and internal defibrillators sold by St. Jude Medical before the company was acquired by Abbott Labs in January 2017. According to the FDA's Warning Letter, St. Jude Medical (now Abbott Labs) has failed to correct previously noted problems in the battery and cybersecurity vulnerabilities in both pacemakers and internal defibrillators. The letter, dated April 12, noted that the company has failed to either correct the problems or implement procedures to insure that they do not recur. In addition, the letter cites Abbott labs for selling a small number of units already under a recall order.

In January, the FDA confirmed that the St. Jude Medical devices contained software with vulnerabilities that could allow an unauthorized third party to gain control of the pacemaker or defibrillator and quickly run down the battery or deliver a series of shocks at the wrong time. At the time, St. Jude said that it had developed a software patch that could be automatically applied to devices through the [email protected] transmitter each patient uses with the devices. Abbott Labs also said that it was working with both the FDA and DHS to improve device security.

The original vulnerability report, published by investment firm Muddy Waters Research and based on "ethical hacking" from MedSec, was controversial because Muddy Waters released the information, which described vulnerability to man-in-the-middle attacks in the implantable devices, in a statement regarding stock sales and purchases rather than in a private message to either St. Jude Medical or the FDA.

The latest FDA warning letter indicates that Abbott Labs has not dealt with the problem to the satisfaction of the FDA. On a larger scale, this is the sort of IoT security issue that many experts have warned about: critical components containing serious vulnerabilities deployed in difficult-to-update scenarios. Companies that sell IoT systems, as well as those that are their customers, are likely to be watching the interaction of Abbott Labs and the FDA to see how future IoT vulnerabilities will be dealt with by regulators and industry.

— Curtis Franklin, Security Editor, Light Reading

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 7/2/2020
Ripple20 Threatens Increasingly Connected Medical Devices
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  6/30/2020
DDoS Attacks Jump 542% from Q4 2019 to Q1 2020
Dark Reading Staff 6/30/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
How Cybersecurity Incident Response Programs Work (and Why Some Don't)
This Tech Digest takes a look at the vital role cybersecurity incident response (IR) plays in managing cyber-risk within organizations. Download the Tech Digest today to find out how well-planned IR programs can detect intrusions, contain breaches, and help an organization restore normal operations.
Flash Poll
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
This report describes some of the latest attacks and threats emanating from the Internet, as well as advice and tips on how your organization can mitigate those threats before they affect your business. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-9498
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
Apache Guacamole 1.1.0 and older may mishandle pointers involved inprocessing data received via RDP static virtual channels. If a userconnects to a malicious or compromised RDP server, a series ofspecially-crafted PDUs could result in memory corruption, possiblyallowing arbitrary code to be executed...
CVE-2020-3282
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
A vulnerability in the web-based management interface of Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Session Management Edition, Cisco Unified Communications Manager IM & Presence Service, and Cisco Unity Connection could allow an unauthenticated, remote attack...
CVE-2020-5909
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
In versions 3.0.0-3.5.0, 2.0.0-2.9.0, and 1.0.1, when users run the command displayed in NGINX Controller user interface (UI) to fetch the agent installer, the server TLS certificate is not verified.
CVE-2020-5910
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
In versions 3.0.0-3.5.0, 2.0.0-2.9.0, and 1.0.1, the Neural Autonomic Transport System (NATS) messaging services in use by the NGINX Controller do not require any form of authentication, so any successful connection would be authorized.
CVE-2020-5911
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
In versions 3.0.0-3.5.0, 2.0.0-2.9.0, and 1.0.1, the NGINX Controller installer starts the download of Kubernetes packages from an HTTP URL On Debian/Ubuntu system.