Hacking the insulin pump, and beyond

Categories: Latest News.

Inevitably hackers find a way…and demonstrated here is successful hacking of control over a remote-controlled insulin pump by reprogramming it to respond to another remote control. This hack had its limitations (the remote control serial numbers were needed) and the ‘hacker’ (actually experimenting on himself) couldn’t get into the pump itself (and a few other things), but controlling a critical device such as this can mean life or death. Jerome Radcliffe, the self-hacker,¬†speaking before the aptly named ‘Black Hat’ conference,¬†warned the conference that designing medical devices like no one will bother hacking into them is just plain ignorant. Insulin pumps susceptible (FierceMobileHealthcare), the scary Excuse me while I turn off your insulin pump (Venture Beat) and the more sanguine Um, no…facts vs. journalistic fearmongering (Scott Hanselman’s Computer Zen)

Pushing the limits of hacking is cyber-espionage and cyber-warfare on government and business IT systems. Is it beyond conception that health IT and telehealth could be vulnerable? With so much eHealth moving to cloud based apps, the possibilities of hacking into devices, systems and even entire hospitals is not far-fetched at all. It’s not kids, but professionally organized (and sponsored) groups. Be even more apprehensive than you are already when you read this, not from some alternative blog, but from ZDNet: Has the United States already suffered its cyberwar Pearl Harbor?