FDA Raises Hacking Concerns for Medical Devices

August 10th, 2015

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released an alert warning that certain medical devices could be vulnerable to cyber attacks.  The alert singled out Hospira’s Symbiq Infusion System. The infusion pump connects to hospital systems over a wireless connection. The FDA strongly encouraged the discontinued use of such medical devices when an independent researcher found that the design “could allow an unauthorized user to control the device and change the dosage the pump delivers.”  The alert also states that the agency is “actively investigating” the situation.

The FDA’s findings could have major repercussions on any medical devices that connect to a hospital’s network infrastructure, where cyber attacks could gain remote control over a device.  Considering the FDA’s strong position on Hospira’s device, medical device manufactures will have to give greater attention to cybersecurity risk and cyber attack defenses with similar devices.

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