Seeking Alpha

Networked hospital gear vulnerable to hacking

  • Much of the high tech equipment hospitals use can be easily hacked and could pose a significant danger to patients according to the head of information security at Essentia Health.
  • Imaging equipment, insulin pumps, defibrillators and refrigerators that store blood and drugs are examples of networked gear that have remote access control features.
  • The devices' software is plagued by common security holes like weak passwords, lack of authentication to access, easy-to-determine default and hard-coded passwords and embedded web servers and administrative interfaces that make it easy to identify and manipulate devices once found on the network.
  • Hospital are apparently just waking up to the potential risks.
  • Last spring, the FDA and DHS issued a notice to the health care industry about problems with hard-coded passwords after researchers found issues in ~300 devices.
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