There’s a story making the rounds on Twitter right now. Engadget “reports” researcher sees security issue with wireless insulin pumps, hackers could cause lethal doses.
Wait till you see what researcher and diabetic Jay Radcliffe cooked up for the Black Hat Technical Security Conference. Radcliffe figures an attacker could hack an insulin pump connected to a wireless glucose monitor and deliver lethal doses of the sugar-regulating hormone.
First, a little on my background. I’ve been Type 1 diabetic for 17 years. I’ve worn an insulin pump 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for over 11 years and a continuous glucose meter non-stop for over 5 years. I also wrote one of the first portable glucoses management systems for the original PalmPilot over 10 years ago and successfully sold it to a health management company. (Archive.org link) I also interfaced it (albeit with wires) to a number of portable glucose meters, also a first.
Engadget’s is a mostly reasonable headline and accurate explanation as they say he “figures an attacker could…” However, Computerworld really goes all out with the scare tactics with Black Hat: Lethal Hack and wireless attack on insulin pumps to kill people.
Like something straight out of science fiction, an attacker with a powerful antenna could be up to a half mile away from a victim yet launch a wireless hack to remotely control an insulin pump and potentially kill the victim.
The only thing that saves this initial paragraph is “potentially.” The link that is getting the most Tweets is VentureBeat’s “Excuse me while I turn off your insulin pump,” a blog post that is rife with inaccuracies (not to mention a lot of misspellings). Here’s just a few.