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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