Remote drug delivery devices may be hacked, warn researchers

February 8th, 2009 - 11:19 am ICT by ANI  

Washington, February 8 (ANI): While scientists are trying to develop electronic implants that dispense medicines automatically or via a wireless medical network, a group of Aussie and American researchers have warned that such devices may have certain security risks.
YanYan Wang and Carey Thaldorf at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, and their colleague John Haynes of Charles Darwin University in Darwin, point out that any wireless communications technology may fall under the generic umbrella of hacking, including eavesdropping, jamming, and tampering.
They say that someone with malicious intent might spoof the sensor outputs of a Remote Intelligent Drug Delivery System (RIDDS).
Highlighting the security risks in the International Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Technology, the researchers said that having hijacked the RIDDS connection, such a person might trigger commands to release medication inappropriately to harm or even kill a patient.
“We have raised security concerns in relation to RIDDS, especially in the context of medical sensor networks, because, among other reasons, a failure to do so could risk the privacy and possibly the life of a patient,” the researchers say.
“The dilemma in RIDDS makes adoption of the technologies intimidating,” they add. The team concludes that, “Security mechanisms for RIDDS must be fully considered prior to the widespread deployment of such delivery systems,” they add. (ANI)

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