Medical Devices the New Target for Cyber Criminals

Cyber-criminals have been able to hack bank accounts and succeeded in stealing the identities of the account holders. However, the most shocking trend recently has been their ability to target medical devices successfully. Perhaps this is partly why medical device tracking solutions are gaining traction in the industry.

Recently, Johnson & Johnson, a medical device manufacturer discovered that a hacker was able to manipulate one of its insulin pumps used by over 114,000 diabetic patients. The hacker was able to manipulate the J$J Animas Onetouch Ping, disable the device or change the dosage.

However, the company later said that the risk was very low, and it gave advice on how the diabetic patients could avoid the attack. This led to series of questions concerning the security of other medical devices like could other medical devices like pacemakers and infusion pumps are vulnerable to cyber-criminals?

Cyber security experts have however revealed that there is no impervious device so long it has a computer in it. Any serious hacker can manipulate such device. The experts added that many manufacturers didn’t expect cyber-threats towards these devices when designing them a decade ago.

On the other hand, the One Touch Ping was designed over eight years ago hence the reason for its vulnerability. On the contrary, Johnson $ Johnson said that the newer models of the device are encrypted, thus making them harder to hack.

The company also reiterated that it not just a malicious hacker with the ability to do damage to this medical devices. This was also confirmed by the security experts. They said that a malware loaded onto a USB drive or from a network connection can easily infect healthcare organizations and cause a lot of damage.

The security experts also say said the important issue here is not the vulnerability of these devices, but their ability to withstand these attacks which are also prevalent in the computing world as well as the internet. They warned that every type of medical device in a healthcare facility is at risk.

However, FDA revealed that it is assisting healthcare organizations to address the issue or cyber-security targeting their devices. The security experts also acknowledged this move.

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