Remember in late July when the Food and Drug Administration issued an advisory warning of security flaws in Hospira’s Symbiq smart infusion pumps? That warning, which was not a mandatory recall or an order to stop using Symbiq pumps, apparently was a long time in the making. This is chronicled in “Hacking Healthcare,” the cover story in the Nov. 16 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek, which hits newsstands Friday. But infusion pumps are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the security of connected medical devices. The story chronicles the work of a “white hat” hacker, Billy Rios, who was invited with about a dozen others to pick apart the Mayo Clinic’s network in 2013. Like the printers, copiers and office telephones used across all industries, many medical devices today are networked, running standard operating systems and living on the Internet just as laptops and smartphones do. Like the rest of the Internet of Things—devices that range from cars to garden sprinklers—they communicate with servers, and many can be controlled remotely. As quickly became apparent to Rios and the others, hospital administrators have a lot of reasons to fear hackers. For a full week, the group spent their days looking for backdoors […]
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