DHS Warns of Potential Security Issues for Smartphones and Medical Devices
May 18, 2012 6:25 AM
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DHS warns of implanted medical device security vulnerabilities
Everyone is aware that smartphones can be hacked and are a potential source of security vulnerability for personal and private data. The Department of Homeland Security has issued a warning for medical devices and smartphones noting that the devices can expose patient data and lead to cyber security issues. The DHS issued alert titled Attack Surface: Healthcare and Public Health Sector earlier this month.
The warning notes that medical devices and smartphones that connect to IT networks could pose a potential security threat. The security threat could lead to the spread of malware and the loss of data according to the bulletin. The loss of personal medical data could have dire consequences for healthcare providers under HIPAA.
"The expanded use of wireless technology on the enterprise network of medical facilities and the wireless utilization of MDs opens up both new opportunities and new vulnerabilities to patients and medical facilities," the bulletin from the DHS' National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center stated.
"Smartphones with poorly designed security protections are frequently connected to medical IT networks and provide a new vector for malware transmission," DHS reported.
The Department of Homeland Security fears that some implanted medical devices can also hold sensitive information that could lead to the theft of medical data and possible access to corporate networks. DHS also warns that these devices could potentially be open to Denial of Service attacks due to their battery life limitations.
Security researchers at hacker conferences have been able to demonstrate attacks on implanted medical devices such as the ability to
from a diabetic insulin pump and direct the pump to give a lethal dose of insulin to the patient.
"Imagine a blood pressure monitor, or heart monitor, that transmits the wrong message or simply ceases to function, or a medical decision support system that receives the wrong information-the result could be very bad," said McMillan.
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RE: Heres a new Scenario for you
5/18/2012 11:24:00 AM
I totally agree. In fact, lets hide our heads in the sand and pretend that everything is totally secure and never ever think about possible security flaws in any of our infrastructure systems. If we never think about them, the bad guys can never exploit them, because they don't exist if we don't acknowledge them. Security should always be an after thought in any good system that is developed. It just gets in the way and makes things harder to do.
RE: Heres a new Scenario for you
5/18/2012 11:32:45 AM
Lol, I love sarcasm. But in all reality, I do understand we should acknowledge issues and implement plausible fixes, but DHS is known for blowing everything out of proportion. Thus the sarcasm. Not to mention how the government has handled anything tech related lately with censorship, spying, accusations (false and true) with hypocrisy.
I do believe in fixing issues, but currently.. I'd rather stick it out until we have some better people upstairs handling the issues at hand, cause the tech world seems to be headed to hell in a hand basket lately.
"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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