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Medical Device Security Gets Intensive Care
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Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
1/23/2016 | 12:45:07 PM
Showtime, anyone?
I think Homeland deserves a little credit for this -- highlighting how pacemakers can be hacked to kill patients!

(And, of course, years before, then-VP Dick Cheney's pacemaker was adjusted to take it offline and make it unhackable -- to prevent exactly that kind of situation.)
Kelly Jackson Higgins
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Kelly Jackson Higgins,
User Rank: Strategist
1/25/2016 | 8:08:45 AM
Re: Showtime, anyone?
It's definitely something that's been on the radar for some time, for sure. But the good news--as with much of the IoT and connected consumer device space--the good guys have been ahead of the bad guys so far. Even so, the good guys need to keep the momentum and take action.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
1/25/2016 | 6:57:41 PM
Re: Showtime, anyone?
> But the good news--as with much of the IoT and connected consumer device space--the good guys have been ahead of the bad guys so far.

Is this truly correct and apt, though?

It seems to me that the bad guys have determined that, from a long-term view, there simply isn't as much profit to be had in hacking pacemakers to kill people and whatnot as there is in simply hacking healthcare companies to steal PHI.
Kelly Jackson Higgins
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Kelly Jackson Higgins,
User Rank: Strategist
1/25/2016 | 9:11:19 PM
Re: Showtime, anyone?
Well, it would likely be a very different type of attacker altogether that went after pacemakers. 

 
RetiredUser
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RetiredUser,
User Rank: Ninja
1/26/2016 | 2:46:53 AM
Re: Showtime, anyone?
As we've seen with the auto industry, hack after hack has painted a new picture of the automobile, switching the view from vehicle of leisure and labor to a careening comet of death.  Being locked in a car hurtling across a highway invokes claustrophobic feelings; imagine those emotions felt when you are the vehicle and the hack is occurring inside you.  

Yes, it's time for sure to get the right white hats working on every known hackable medical device and for patches and new designs to emerge from the rubble.  Perhaps we'll also see some major revision ideas around ISO/IEEE 11073 - Health informatics - Medical / health device communication standards.    
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
1/26/2016 | 11:20:35 AM
Re: Showtime, anyone?
To be fair, the automobile has long been depicted as a "careening comet of death."  One need merely watch driving ed videos from the '50s and '60s to know that.  ;)
RetiredUser
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RetiredUser,
User Rank: Ninja
1/28/2016 | 11:26:25 AM
Re: Showtime, anyone?
You said it, Joe!  It's sad, of course.  Especially as a father, I have serious reservations about the automobile industry and how far each model is tested before making it to the car lot; add computers to the complexity of safety research and testing, and the sweat begins to pour...
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
1/28/2016 | 12:32:46 PM
Re: Showtime, anyone?
@Christian: You can at least feel better about the fact that cars are far safer than they were decades ago.  There are some interesting (if, at times, hard to watch) videos out there of crash tests -- replete with crash-test dummies -- involving head-on collisions between a new car and a car from, say, the '60s.  The difference between the damage the cars (and car drivers/passengers) take is astounding.
SecurityFool
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SecurityFool,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/8/2016 | 12:00:39 PM
Ransomware
And what of Ransomware?

 

Today ransomeware is one of the most profitable endeavors in the hacking arena. When hackers figure out that they can hack into a medical device and essentially hold someone hostage on their life, how quick do you think they will pay?

Or hacks into a system and causes medical practitioners to be unable to provide critical care? Who gets hit with the malpractice suit if the doctor cannot get accurate imaging results or cannot use a crash cart because it is compromised?

 

I see a lot of scary stuff if this industry doesn't take this serios. Banks didn't take protecting their devices serious enough for a while there, and they are paying ransoms repeatedly. When you have a small population of technically proficient hackers in countries where it isn't illegal to demand a ransome, how can we even go get the bad guys? It is a tough situation, and until governments declare hacking a form of terrorism or at minimum criminal activity, healthcare organizations need to be protecting themselves from the bad guys.

At a minimum, have a security plan in place so that the easily deterred hackers are motivated to turn their efforts to easier targets.

 


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