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Posted by on Jun 17, 2013 in Hardware News |

U.S. FDA calls for better cybersecurity for medical devices

U.S. FDA calls for better cybersecurity for medical devices

Seems that criminals have access to a new way of killing their victims with impunity and without risk of being caught. All we want the authorities to do something to prevent the worst offenders continue to commit heinous crimes, and now it turns out that the technology could help them commit murder without risk of discovery. No more missing.

It is more than creepy than a person wearing a pacemaker can be killed with a mouse click, or a patient in a hospital can be suffocated or poisoned in his bed at a distance with a phone “smart” or even program the fatal act , infecting the device with a virus that would act the date and time indicated.

Following the discovery that some are vulnerable to manipulation remotely via the Internet, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. issued new guidelines last week to encourage manufacturers of medical devices to strengthen the safety of the equipment they manufacture.

Our hope is that we never have to read in the news of someone’s death or injury due to an infected device or remote control.

The guidelines require device manufacturers to revise their practices and test their products in order to ensure your authentication settings can limit access to only authorized users.

The guidelines also urge health centers to be more vigilant in updating your antivirus software, to establish tighter controls over who has access to their networks, and to cooperate with device manufacturers to investigate and fix the security flaws.

U.S. FDA calls for better cybersecurity for medical devices image 2

The FDA says that although there are no reported deaths or injuries yet related to these vulnerabilities or malfunctions, the increase in crime makes it increasingly more likely to happen. Of course it is, criminals also read the news.

The guidelines, while not legally binding (Should not be?) Put the device manufacturers and healthcare providers, on notice, to redouble their efforts in order to avoid diagnostic equipment can be taken by attackers (and deliver results erring doctors), so that the pacemaker can not be restarted remotely fatal sending an electrical shock to the patient and to maintain insulin pumps free from any external manipulation.

The FDA action was prompted by the Government Accountability Office of the U.S., in which it requested the “development and implementation of a plan to expand the approach to risks in information security.”

It was time. Imagine someone who has to undergo surgery where a robot performs the operation, controlled by a surgeon from another part of the world. If the system that controls the mechanical arm is infected with a virus or if a criminal takes control of the robot, this would be fatal.

Due to advancement in technology, everything is computerized in medicine today, including dispensaries are, to prevent people from getting the wrong prescription or the wrong dose. Any effort to improve the safety of medical devices, is priceless.

Link: FDA Urges Tighter Cybersecurity for Medical Devices (ieee.org)

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