Post Tagged with: "medical devices"

Uncle Sam Makes Mobile, Medical Device Security a Priority in 2014

February 10, 2014 13:23Comments Off
Uncle Sam Makes Mobile, Medical Device Security a Priority in 2014

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says that it will make the security of mobile devices containing personal health information and networked medical devices areas of intense scrutiny in 2014.   The security of a wide range of devices, from laptops and USB ‘jump drives’ to networked medical devices like dialysis machines and medication dispensing systems will be under review, according to a 2014 Work Plan issued by HHS’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG). (PDF) Among other projects, the  OIG will review hospitals’ plans to protect the loss of protected health information (PHI), as well as similar plans put in place by Medicare and Medicaid contractors in the next year.  OIG will also scrutinize security controls at hospitals that protect networked medical devices. OIG wants to determine if the controls in place are adequate to secure electronic protected health information stored on medical devices. Links between networked […]

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Experts: Despite Warnings, Slow Progress Securing Industrial Systems

January 16, 2014 12:03Comments Off
Experts: Despite Warnings, Slow Progress Securing Industrial Systems

Despite increased media attention to the security of industrial control systems and critical infrastructure, progress in securing those devices has been slow, experts say. Despite progress in some areas, critical infrastructure - including energy and transportation networks- remains vulnerable to attacks leveled at known security holes for months or years because of a lack of vendor response or customers who lack the incentive or know-how to patch vulnerable systems. That according to some of the world’s top experts in cyber security and industrial systems, who are gathering this week at an industry conference in Miami. The S4 Conference, sponsored by the firm DigitalBond, is one of the premiere conferences for cyber security as it pertains to industrial control systems and often coincides with disclosures from industrial system vendors about serious security holes in their products. The security of industrial control systems has been a top concern of IT security experts and government […]

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Famed Hacker Barnaby Jack Died Of Accidental Overdose

January 3, 2014 22:26Comments Off
Jack was known for finding security holes in everyday objects. His 'jackpotting' demonstration caused ATM machines to spit out a cascade of money. (Photo courtesy of pauldotcom.com.)

Barnaby Jack, the world-renowned hacker who was found dead in his San Francisco apartment in July died of an accidental overdose of cocaine, heroin and prescription drugs, according to a report released by the San Francisco Medical Examiner’s office.  The news was first reported by the website theverge.com. Jack, a 36-year-old New Zealand resident was found unresponsive in bed, surrounded by bottles of pills, empty bottles of beer and champagne and evidence of “illicit drug use,” the Medical Examiner’s report states. Jack had traces of cocaine, heroin, Xanax, and Benadryl in his system at the time of death. Jack was one of the most gifted security researchers of his generation. The head of embedded device security at the firm IOActive, Jack electrified audiences with his demonstrations of vulnerabilities in devices such as ATMs and implantable insulin pumps. In a now-famous “Jackpotting” demonstration, he demonstrated a remotely exploitable hole affecting bank automated teller machines […]

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At FTC Forum, Experts Wonder: Is Privacy Passé?

November 20, 2013 12:31Comments Off
At FTC Forum, Experts Wonder: Is Privacy Passé?

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) used a one-day workshop to highlight security and privacy issues prompted by so-called “Internet of Things.” But attendees at the event may have walked away with a more ambiguous message, as prominent technologists and industry representatives questioned whether conventional notions of privacy had much relevance in a world populated by billions of Internet-connected devices. “I don’t feel like privacy is dead,” keynote speaker Vint Cerf, a Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist at Google, told an audience at the FTC workshop. “I do feel like privacy will be increasingly difficult for us to achieve,” Cerf warned. And Cerf wasn’t alone in wondering whether that might not be such a bad thing – or even that unusual. “Is privacy an anomaly?” Cerf wondered aloud, recalling his experience living in a small, German town where the “postmaster knew what everyone was doing.” Our modern concept of being ‘alone […]

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BlueTooth on Your Defibrillator? The Case Against Wi-Fi

November 1, 2013 11:40Comments Off
Visit Veracode.com to view the entire episode of Talking Code.

As more and more devices become networked, the use cases for wireless communications protocols like Bluetooth and NFC (Near Field Communications) multiply. Hardly a week goes by where some company figures out a way to pair wireless communications with some inanimate object or another. (Bluetooth bike locks, anyone?) But what happens when those wireless devices run critical infrastructure or life-saving technology like implanted medical devices? We learned earlier this week that no less than Dick Cheney was concerned enough about wireless attacks on his implanted defibrillator that he had the wireless management features of the device disabled, for fear they could be used in an assassination attempt. Security experts, like Dr. Kevin Fu at The University of Michigan,  doubtful that such an attack was realistic, also refused to rule it out entirely. Given the many, proven tools and strategies for hacking wireless communications like Bluetooth, you might think that foregoing well […]

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When Autonomous Vehicles Crash, Is The Software Liable?

October 11, 2013 10:58Comments Off
When autonomous vehicles crash, who (or what) is to blame? (Photo courtesy of Google.)

Many industries are wrestling with the blinding speed of technologic change. Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are transforming the way employees work and customers interact with a business. And that doesn’t even take into account the (coming) revolution of smart devices and remote sensors that is referred to as The Internet of Things. But few industries are wrestling as hard with the implications of that change as the Insurance industry, which must assess the long-term impact of huge forces like technology innovation or, say, climate change on risk. One example: how will the advent of autonomous vehicles or even computer augmented driving change the auto insurance business? And, when two computer-guided cars crash, who (or what) is liable? Those were some of the questions posed to attendees at this week’s Emerging Technology (or EmTech) Conference at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The speaker, Joe Coray, is the Vice […]

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FDA Will Regulate Some Apps As Medical Devices

September 24, 2013 12:59Comments Off
FDA Will Regulate Some Apps As Medical Devices

In an important move, the U.S. Food And Drug Administration (FDA) has released final guidance to mobile application developers that are creating medical applications to run on devices like the iPhone and Android mobile devices. Some applications, it said, will be treated with the same scrutiny as traditional medical devices.* The statement is the final word from the FDA on the approach it will take when enforcing federal regulations regarding the safety of medical devices to the large and fast-growing category of medical applications. The agency said on Monday that, while it doesn’t see the need to vet “the majority of mobile apps,” because they pose “minimal risk to consumers,” it will exercise oversight of mobile medical applications that are accessories to regulated medical devices, or that transform a mobile device into a regulated medical device. In those cases, the FDA said that mobile applications will be assessed “using the same […]

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Podcast: Securing The Internet of Things

September 20, 2013 19:53Comments Off
Podcast: Securing The Internet of Things

One of the most vexing problems created by the fast-evolving Internet of Things is how to secure the massive trove of data that is transmitted and then stored by smart devices such as automobiles, consumer and household electronics and personal devices. As we’ve seen, private sector firms have been aggressive in leveraging new technology to connect their products to the Internet. But less thought has been given to the security and privacy implications of doing so. Now people are starting to take notice. In recent weeks,  the FTC settled a case with a California firm, TRENDNet over balky home surveillance cameras they sold – cameras that were discovered to be easily discoverable and hackable from the public Internet. But, with so many cooks in the IoT kitchen (so to speak), where does responsibility for securing technology lie? Recently, I chatted with an expert on security and the Internet of Things. […]

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Report: Crematoriums To Caterpillars Shodan Reveals Internet Of Things

September 9, 2013 12:33Comments Off
Report: Crematoriums To Caterpillars Shodan Reveals Internet Of Things

What kind of stuff is lurking out there on the vast (and growing) Internet of Things? A recent story in Forbes makes the point that its a lot more varied than you might think – everything from Caterpillar trucks to public school classrooms to a crematorium. And “yes,” I said “crematorium.” The idea that surveillance cameras can be accessed from the public Internet isn’t really new. Security researchers have been showing off ways to sidestep security features for IP enabled surveillance cameras for years. We wrote last week about the Federal Trade Commission’s case against a California company, TRENDNet, which made a line of balky, in secure home surveillance gear. But Kashmir Hill makes the point in her story that surveillance cameras are just the tip of the iceberg. Hill interviewed security researchers and professional Shodan jockeys, who use that hardware focused search engine to uncover supposedly secure equipment and industrial control […]

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ARM Buys Software Maker Sensinode To Spur IoT Development

August 27, 2013 13:00Comments Off
ARM Buys Software Maker Sensinode To Spur IoT Development

We have noted before how the lack of cross-industry standards (including those governing security) is a major stumbling block to the Internet of Things. This is especially true in the enterprise space, where the security of data that might be passed between Internet-connected devices is paramount, but not well addressed by the current generation of (PC-centric) security products. As with so much in the fast-emerging Internet of Things, change on this score will come from unlikely places, as we see with the news today about ARM acquiring the Finnish software maker Sensinode Oy – a major player in the market for software to power connected devices. The news, which was announced on Tuesday, will join ARM – a leading maker of chips that power mobile devices – with Sensinode, which has pioneered software and software standards for low-power devices used in everything from mobile phones and tablets to wearable computing. Following […]

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