FDA alert advises hospitals and med centers stop using hacker-vulnerable networked IV pumps
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an alert advising hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical care centers to stop using the Symbiq Infusion System of intravenous pumps, which deliver IV medications with dosages programmed over a hospital’s wireless network. As the FDA’s release says: “The FDA, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT), and [pump manufacturer] Hospira are aware of cybersecurity vulnerabilities associated with the Symbiq Infusion System. FDA strongly encourages health care facilities transition to alternative infusion systems, and discontinue use of these pumps. Hospira and an independent researcher confirmed that Hospira’s Symbiq Infusion System could be accessed remotely through a hospital’s network.” If a hacker did gain such illicit remote access, it would be trivially easy to change the programmed drug doses, with results that could be harmful or even fatal to patients. However, the FDA stressed that thus far, there’s no evidence any hackers actually have taken advantage of this although “due to recent cybersecurity concerns, the FDA strongly encourages health care facilities to begin transitioning to alternative infusion systems as soon as possible.” Healthcare hacking poses major problem Those unnamed “recent cybersecurity concerns” surely refer to the near-constant […]
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