HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Blog

Hackers Probe Medical Implants

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Scary proposition
Beth Stackpole   8/25/2011 11:10:23 AM
NO RATINGS
A real eye opening post, Loring. What a scary proposition for patients, who can benefit so greatly from all of the advances around wireless and embedded technologies for medical implants. While it's hard to imagine anyone wanting to inflict such personal damage, it's not that far fetched and I'd expect to see far more focus around regulations, security controls, and technology advances to address the potential problem over time.

Loring Wirbel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Scary proposition
Loring Wirbel   8/25/2011 11:33:13 AM
NO RATINGS
Beth, it surprises me that some security experts always want to "blame the messenger", similar to the way some Black Hat attendees chided Radcliffe for bringing the subject up.  Now, I can see why some people would not want the full details of the location of electrical grids published, as that might be a provocative act.  But is Radcliffe being provocative?  I don't think so.  Burying your head in the sand and pretending a problem doesn't exist, doesn't make it go away!

Jack Rupert, PE
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Scary proposition
Jack Rupert, PE   8/25/2011 12:30:53 PM
NO RATINGS
What is the range those devices?  I thought the "wireless" portion was basically to transfer through the skin, not across the room?  Or is this a case where the hacker builds a substantially powerful system to broadcast that distance and screw it up?  Time for aluminum foil underwear?

Loring Wirbel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Scary proposition
Loring Wirbel   8/25/2011 5:15:01 PM
NO RATINGS
Depends on the device, many for updates on drug delivery etc. use an equivalent of near-field, but many use short-range PAN/Bluetooth systems for program updates.  That's where the danger (theoretically) lies....

Tim
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Scary proposition
Tim   8/25/2011 9:51:42 PM
NO RATINGS
I can see it possible to hack into a medical device.  It is hard to understand why other security experts would mock Radcliffe for mentioning the possibility of hacking medical implants.  So many hacking groups only get into things for the thrill of hacking a device not for monetary gain.

Jack Rupert, PE
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Scary proposition
Jack Rupert, PE   8/28/2011 2:51:17 PM
NO RATINGS
I just thought that it could get even worse than that, Tim. If I remember right, VP Dick Cheney had a pacemaker. As medicine evolves and more things can get implanted, you could have some nutjob (or organized nutjobs) trying to mess up the health of important figures. (Sound like an idea for a novel that hasn't been done yet).

David McCollum
User Rank
Gold
Re: Scary proposition
David McCollum   8/29/2011 2:36:20 PM
NO RATINGS
It is a frightening enough proposition to consider what might happen just from "accidental" issues, like activating the garage door opener and causing your device to pump an additional 20 units of insulin, or going through a tool booth reader and changing the setting on a pacemaker. If this were possible, and especially given data leaks concerning health records, it is a genuinely scary situation. As one of the others mentioned, if the enemy had the info on the top 20 political figures in a country, or even the world, and take them out simultaneously. Such a thing could create global chaos very quickly.

Partner Zone
More Blogs
Engineer comic Don McMillan explains the fun engineers have with team-building exercises. Can you relate?
The damage to Sony from the cyber attack seems to have been heightened by failure to follow two basic security rules.
Reshoring is picking up steam, but it's not outpacing the overall continuing growth in outsourcing.
Here's a variety of views into the complex production processes at Santa's factory. Happy Holidays!
The Beam Store from Suitable Technologies is managed by remote workers from places as diverse as New York and Sydney, Australia. Employees attend to store visitors through Beam Smart Presence Systems (SPSs) from the company. The systems combine mobility and video conferencing and allow people to communicate directly from a remote location via a screen as well as move around as if they are actually in the room.
Design News Webinar Series
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/10/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
11/19/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
11/6/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Jan 12 - 16, Programmable Logic - How do they do that?
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  67


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service