Hacking is increasingly becoming a worse problem in the world wide web. Now, people who use implants such as insulin systems may face the dangers of hacking as well-causing health fatal health risks.
Security experts showed on Tuesday that an insulin system, consisting of a wireless insulin pump in combination with a glucose monitor — worn by hundreds of thousands of diabetics in the US — is vulnerable to hack attacks. Using off-the-shelf hardware, the user manual and publicly available information, the scientists tapped into information on the system — like insulin dosage and glucose readings. With the PIN access code of the device, they showed that they could also wirelessly control the dosage of insulin.
Researchers propose two possible “concept stage” suggestions for security fixes. One way would be to use rolling codes — a cryptography feature already used by garage doors and automotive keyless entry systems. Or, a technology called body-coupled communication that uses the human skin as a wave guide for wireless communication. This keeps the range of detection very close to the body, decreasing the likelihood of interception.
The insulin pump/glucose monitor hack isn’t the first time a medical device has been compromised. Three years ago, another group of security researchers hacked into and took over a combination heart defibrillator and pacemaker, made by Medtronic, a manufacturer specializing in heart implants. At a research conference, the researchers showed that they could shut it down and reprogram it to deliver potentially lethal shocks — if the device had been in a person.
“Today we’re starting to see medical devices become more communicative and sophisticated, and as technology changes, new security issues tend to arise” said Tadayoshi Kohno, a University of Washington security researcher and a lead researcher on the pacemaker hack. “So our goal back then in 2008, and similar research today, is to understand what the risk is, before it becomes a threat.”
Read More @ MSNBC.com