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Security Testers Managed to Hack Hospital Patient Monitors and Drug Dispensers
As part of a wide-ranging, two-year-long attack, hackers managed to breach the systems of a number of hospitals, exposing critical patient systems to wide-ranging attacks. Luckily, the hacks were just a drill...
In a paper published by Independent Security Evaluators, white-hat penetration testers examined the systems of 12 hospitals, two data centers, and some specific medical hardware. Using a variety of classic techniques—dropping infected USB drives next to computer terminals, or just plugging into publicly-accessible ports—the researchers gained control over some critical systems.
Most scarily, they found a way into patient monitors, which they could force to change at will—displaying false alarms or incorrect readings, which could easily lead to fatal treatment being given to patients. The team also found a way into the drug dispensary system, which could give the wrong medication to patients.
The prospect of a hack simply shutting down hospitals is scary enough on its own, but the paper demonstrates a malicious hacker could actively toy with equipment to kill patients.
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