Podcast: Jay Radcliffe on Medical Device Security

By Robert Vamosi | 5/11/12 3:43 AM

In this week’s podcast, Mocana’s Threat Center Director Jay Radcliffe discusses medical device security with host Robert Vamosi.

At last summer's Black Hat and Defcon security conferences, Radcliffe drew parallels with the SCADA industry when he gave a personal account of his experience of having Type 1 diabetes and how various devices he uses control his diabetes could be manipulated by “evil doers." The insulin pump replaces the actions of the liver (which secretes sugar) and the pancreas (which secretes insulin). Too much blood sugar can overtax the kidneys and too little blood sugar can shut the body down. Radcliffe related these bodily processes to industrial SCADA systems which also regulate pressure in gas and electric utilities—too much and the system blows, too little and the electrical or water system shuts down.

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Johnson & Johnson Warned By FDA Over Insulin Pump Failures

By Robert Vamosi | 1/12/12 3:33 AM

In late December, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent the pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson a letter warning of possible penalties for not reporting life-threatening vulnerabilities with its OneTouch Ping and 2020 insulin pumps. It is unclear whether the vulnerabilities are outright device failures or from interference or manipulation from outside sources.

After an inspection at Johnson & Johnson's subsidiary plant in West Chester, Pa., the FDA discovered one complaint about series patient injury and two other incidents never reported. According to the FDA one patient was hospitalized with diabetic ketoacidosis, a condition where the body does not have enough insulin. Another received high doses of insulin. And a third patient suffered serious injury, which could include coma, respiratory failure, and hypoglycemia as a result of user error.

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