Hackers can remotely kill hospital patients with drug pumps, IT expert discovers

Serious alarm is finally being raised over drug pumps in thousands of hospitals around the world being vulnerable to hacking. RT spoke to the security expert whose previous warnings were ignored – until he proved hackers could kill patients remotely.

Billy Rios, a security expert, earlier this year tested several pumps belonging to major drug pump maker Hospira, which delivers devices to over 400,000 hospitals globally. What he found was alarming, but not enough to cause widespread fear. Rios discovered that a hacker could remotely make the intravenous pump forget to warn the physician if they made a mistake setting the dosage.

So he kept on digging and later figured out how hackers could remotely change the firmware of a device and administer a fatal dosage at will.

“Anyone can do this, and it’s just a matter of time before someone figures out how,” Rios told RT.

“These pumps are actually just computers, and so – just as you would take your laptop and join a wireless network, these pumps are on networks as well,” he added.

When he initially contacted the Illinois-based manufacturer to alert them to the problem, they simply denied it existed. In their view, this was justified by the communications module and circuit board being separate inside the device.

Written by RT News
Full report at RT News

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