MIAMI — The special pumps used by hundreds of thousands of diabetes patients are vulnerable to computer hackers, who could make them deliver fatal doses of insulin, security researchers say.
Insulin pumps — like many other medical devices and hundreds of other everyday objects from cars to TVs and refrigerators — are vulnerable because they are controlled by computer chips that can be remotely programed via a wireless connection.
“I can issue [the insulin pump] any command I like,” McAfee security researcher Barnaby Jack told The Washington Times. “I can keep [it] dispensing [insulin] until the pump is empty.”
A typical pump reservoir contains about 300 units of insulin. Although exact doses vary among patients depending on body weight and other factors, 10 units would be enough to send someone to the hospital, and 20 units would kill most people. Read more…