Feeds

Insulin pump attack prompts call for federal probe

Security of medical devices questioned

Website security in corporate America

The hack of a commercially available insulin pump that diabetics can control wirelessly has attracted the attention of US lawmakers who oversee the safety of the nation's airwaves.

In a letter drafted earlier this week, US Representatives Anna Eshoo and Edward Markey asked members of the Government Accountability Office to ensure that wireless-enabled medical devices “will not cause harmful interference to other equipment” and are “safe, reliable, and secure.”

The letter comes two weeks after a researcher demonstrated he could remotely tamper with the insulin dosages administered by the machine he relies on to treat his diabetes. The model uses no means of authentication, making it easy for unauthorized parties to connect to it and increase, decrease, or stop the flow of the hormone.

The demonstration at this year's Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas was the latest to show the vulnerability of a remotely controlled medical device. Pacemakers and other implanted heart devices were shown to be susceptible to serious hack attacks in research released in 2008.

Jerome "Jay" Radcliffe, the researcher at this year's Black Hat who demonstrated the attack, has refused to identify the manufacturer of the vulnerable insulin pump. A representative of Medtronic, one of several companies that make such devices, has been quoted as saying: “To our knowledge, there has never been a single reported incident outside of controlled laboratory experiments in more than 30 years of device telemetry use, which includes millions of devices worldwide.” ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Blood-crazed Microsoft axes Trustworthy Computing Group
Security be not a dirty word, me Satya. But crevice, bigod...
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.