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Threat analyst says medical devices can be hacked remotely

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AFP
Aug 6, 2011

LAS VEGAS — A computer threat analyst on Saturday will show a gathering of hackers how easy it is to wirelessly take control of an insulin pump on which a diabetic’s life could hinge.

Jerome “Jay” Radcliffe’s demonstration at DefCon in Las Vegas will spotlight a critical need to build software defense into pace makers, insulin pumps and other medical gadgets getting “smarter” with computer chips.

“If you look at the history of hacking medical devices, worms and viruses are running rampant,” said ‘informatics nurse’ and hacker Brad Smith, who specializes in medical software.

The list of medical gadgets vulnerable to being hacked wirelessly includes pace makers, intravenous pumps, and blood pressure cuffs, according to Smith.

Radcliffe was diagnosed with diabetes about 11 years ago, when he was 22, and recently employed his software skills to find out whether an insulin pump trusted to keep his blood sugar levels safe could be hacked.

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This article was posted: Saturday, August 6, 2011 at 4:13 am





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