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Medtronic's Implantable Defibrillators Vulnerable to Life-Threatening Hacks

Medtronic's Implantable Defibrillators Vulnerable to Life-Threatening Hacks

March 22, 2019Swati Khandelwal
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Thursday issued an advisory warning people of severe vulnerabilities in over a dozen heart defibrillators that could allow attackers to fully hijack them remotely, potentially putting lives of millions of patients at risk. Cardioverter Defibrillator is a small surgically implanted device (in patients' chests) that gives a patient's heart an electric shock (often called a countershock) to re-establish a normal heartbeat. While the device has been designed to prevent sudden death, several implanted cardiac defibrillators made by one of the world's largest medical device companies Medtronic have been found vulnerable to two serious vulnerabilities. Discovered by researchers from security firm Clever Security, the vulnerabilities could allow threat actors with knowledge of medical devices to intercept and potentially impact the functionality of these life-saving devices. "Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities
Boys Town Healthcare Data Breach Exposed Personal Details of Patients

Boys Town Healthcare Data Breach Exposed Personal Details of Patients

July 30, 2018Wang Wei
Another day, Another data breach! This time-sensitive and personal data of hundreds of thousands of people at Boys Town National Research Hospital have been exposed in what appears to be the largest ever reported breach by a pediatric care provider or children's hospital. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights, the breach incident affected 105,309 individuals , including patients and employees, at the Omaha-based medical organization. In a "Notice of Data Security Incident" published on its website, the Boys Town National Research Hospital admitted that the organization became aware of an abnormal behavior regarding one of its employees' email account on May 23, 2018. After launching a forensic investigation, the hospital found that an unknown hacker managed to infiltrate into the employee's email account and stole personal information stored within the email account as a result of unauthorized access. T
Hackers Can Remotely Access Syringe Infusion Pumps to Deliver Fatal Overdoses

Hackers Can Remotely Access Syringe Infusion Pumps to Deliver Fatal Overdoses

September 09, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Internet-of-things are turning every industry into the computer industry, making customers think that their lives would be much easier with smart devices. However, such devices could potentially be compromised by hackers. There are, of course, some really good reasons to connect certain devices to the Internet. But does everything need to be connected? Of course, not—especially when it comes to medical devices. Medical devices are increasingly found vulnerable to hacking. Earlier this month, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalled 465,000 pacemakers after they were found vulnerable to hackers. Now, it turns out that a syringe infusion pump used in acute care settings could be remotely accessed and manipulated by hackers to impact the intended operation of the device, ICS-CERT warned in an advisory issued on Thursday. An independent security researcher has discovered not just one or two, but eight security vulnerabilities in the Medfusion 4000 Wireless Syringe
FDA Recalls Nearly Half a Million Pacemakers Over Hacking Fears

FDA Recalls Nearly Half a Million Pacemakers Over Hacking Fears

September 01, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Almost half a million people in the United States are highly recommended to get their pacemakers updated, as they are vulnerable to hacking. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recalled 465,000 pacemakers after discovering security flaws that could allow hackers to reprogram the devices to run the batteries down or even modify the patient's heartbeat, potentially putting half a million patients lives at risk. A pacemaker is a small electrical battery-operated device that's surgically implanted in the chest of patients to help control their heartbeats. The device uses low-energy electrical pulses to stimulate the heart to beat at a normal rate. Six types of pacemakers, all manufactured by health-tech firm Abbott (formerly of St. Jude Medical) are affected by the recall, which includes the Accent, Anthem, Accent MRI, Accent ST, Assurity, and Allure. All the affected models are radio-frequency enabled cardiac devices—typically fitted to patients with irregular he
Malware Encoded Into DNA Hacks the Computer that Reads It

Malware Encoded Into DNA Hacks the Computer that Reads It

August 10, 2017Mohit Kumar
Do you know — 1 Gram of DNA Can Store 1,000,000,000 Terabyte of Data for 1000+ Years? Even in March this year, a team of researchers successfully stored digital data — an entire operating system, a movie, an Amazon gift card, a study and a computer virus — in the strands of DNA. But what if someone stores a malicious program into the DNA, just like an infected USB storage, to hijack the computer that reads it. A team of researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle have demonstrated the first successful DNA-based exploit of a computer system that executes the malicious code written into the synthesised DNA strands while reading it. To carry out the hack, the researchers created biological malware and encoded it in a short stretch of DNA, which allowed them to gain "full control" of a computer that tried to process the genetic data when read by a DNA sequencing machine. The DNA-based hack becomes possible due to lack of security in multiple DNA proces
Over 8,600 Vulnerabilities Found in Pacemakers

Over 8,600 Vulnerabilities Found in Pacemakers

June 05, 2017Swati Khandelwal
" If you want to keep living, Pay a ransom, or die ." This could happen, as researchers have found thousands of vulnerabilities in Pacemakers that hackers could exploit. Millions of people that rely on pacemakers to keep their hearts beating are at risk of software glitches and hackers, which could eventually take their lives. A pacemaker is a small electrical battery-operated device that's surgically implanted in the chest to help control the heartbeats. This device uses low-energy electrical pulses to stimulate the heart to beat at a normal rate. While cyber security firms are continually improving software and security systems to protect systems from hackers, medical devices such as insulin pumps or pacemakers are also vulnerable to life-threatening hacks. In a recent study, researchers from security firm White Scope analysed seven pacemaker products from four different vendors and discovered that they use more than 300 third-party libraries, 174 of which ar
Hollywood Hospital Pays $17,000 Ransom to Hacker for Unlocking Medical Records

Hollywood Hospital Pays $17,000 Ransom to Hacker for Unlocking Medical Records

February 18, 2016Unknown
Ransomware has seriously turned on to a noxious game of Hackers to get paid effortlessly. Once again the heat was felt by the Los Angeles-based Presbyterian Medical Center when a group of hackers had sealed all its sensitive files and demanded $17,000 USD to regain the access to those compromised data. The devastation of the compromised files can be pitched as: Compromised emails Lockout Electronic Medical Record System [EMR] Encrypted patient data Unable to carry CT Scans of the admitted patients Ferried risky patients to nearby hospitals ...and much more unexplained outcomes. The hospital had confirmed that the Ransomware malware had hit its core heart a week before, potentially affecting the situation to grow much worse. Hospital End up Paying $17,000 As the situation was grown out of wild, the hospital paid 40 Bitcoins (Roughly US $17,000) to the Ransomware Criminals to resume their medical operations after gaining the decryption keys. "T
Medical Devices Vulnerable to Hacking

Medical Devices Vulnerable to Hacking

October 23, 2012Mohit Kumar
A heart defibrillator remotely controlled by a villainous hacker to trigger a fatal heart attack? Yes now its possible, The Government Accountability Office has released a report warning that medical devices are vulnerable to hacking and calling for greater FDA oversight of such devices. The investigation into electronic medical-device safety was initiated after computer-security researchers found dangerous vulnerabilities in insulin pumps. The FDA in 2009 issued guidance urging hospitals and medical device manufacturers to work together to eliminate security risks. But in September, the Government Accountability Office issued a report warning that implantable medical devices could be vulnerable to hacking, posing a safety threat, and asked the FDA to address the issue. “ Even the human body is vulnerable to attack from computer hackers ,” Representative Anna Eshoo, a Democrat from California, said in a statement on her website . Preventing potential hacking it might seem as simple
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