Is It Possible to Hack Medical Devices like Pacemaker and Insulin Pumps?

Is It Possible to Hack Medical Devices like Pacemaker and Insulin Pumps

Is It Possible to Hack Medical Devices like Pacemaker and Insulin Pumps

According to security researchers, some flaws has been found in the Medtronic pacemaker that can make the life-saving device vulnerable and can put patients’ life in danger. They’ve found some vulnerabilities that can affect pacemaker’s program which is responsible to control electrical driving forces that are sent to the heart so that a patient’s heartbeat can be regulated. About 33,000 of these programs being used which is known as the CareLink 2090. Some researchers has shown that how they can send a wireless signal, and can guide the pump to deliver wrong measure of insulin to a patient close-by who may wear it. They additionally discovered some vulnerabilities in a Medtronic pacemaker that could enable a hacker to reconstruct the device from anyplace – disturbing a patient’s heart rhythms in a manner that could damage or execute them.

The Food and Drug Administration issued a cyber security warning for two models of programming devices that are mainly used by doctors to check cardiovascular devices such as pacemakers, that refers to a vulnerability that can enable unauthorized access to the Medtronic’s programmers. According to FDA, it has been affirmed that when the two models of developers, which are made by Minneapolis-based Medtronic possess some internet connectivity, the unauthorized users could be able to access the product updating system to change the programmer’s functionality. Doctors utilize the software engineers to do things like modify the settings of a pacemaker and check its batteries.

FDA made an action, by sending a warning notice about certain Medtronic pacemakers, and the organization issued a product fix. Medtronic has likewise taught clients of its insulin pump to disable certain features to limit risks.


Software Update in Pacemaker

Medtronic issued security notification as well as some updates for the developers in 2018 in order to protect the devices from these unusual risks. The software update for improving device security is in progress and should be accessible in near future and that must subject to government endorsement, as indicated by the Medtronic statement.

Medtronic likewise suggested the users to find a way to protect against assaults which includes to have physical control over home monitors as well as programming devices just as utilizing just devices gave legitimately by the doctors or Medtronic. They likewise advised the consumers to abstain from associating unauthorized devices to monitor and also to use programmer only in home monitors i.e private areas or in healthcare organizations. This can help to provide additional security to the devices.

Author: Shikha Arora

Technical Writer, Shikha has 5+ years of experience in the area of Technical Writing.

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