Hacking, cyber-attacks raise issues for medical devices

Global Business

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Cyber-attacks have become all-too common. Banks have been hacked as have governments and companies, and now there are worries that medical devices are also vulnerable.

CCTV America’s Karina Huber has more on warnings from a maker of insulin pumps for diabetics.

Hacking, cyber-attacks raise issues for medical devices

Hacking, cyber-attacks raise issues for medical devices

Cyber-attacks have become all-too common. Banks have been hacked as have governments and companies, and now there are worries that medical devices are also vulnerable.CCTV America’s Karina Huber reports.

For 35 years, Jonathan Olick has lived with Type 1 diabetes, a disease of the pancreas which keeps it from producing insulin, a hormone necessary to control blood sugar levels. He was first diagnosed at the age of 18.

Insulin pumps deliver insulin through a device that is attached to the body. They are mainly used by people with Type 1 diabetes, which affects roughly 21 million people globally.

Users said they like them because they make insulin injections easier and more discreet.

But manufacturer Johnson & Johnson recently warned that its Animas OneTouch Ping Insulin Infusion Pump, in circulation in Canada and the U.S., could be hacked, possibly leading to death or severe illness.

The vulnerability was discovered by a diabetic employee at a computer security firm who used the pump.

But both the security firm and Johnson & Johnson said the odds of being hacked are extremely low.

For those who may be concerned, Johnson & Johnson advises users of the pump to turn off its radio frequency feature and said the next generation of pumps will have more security measures in place to protect against potential hacks.