Insulin Pumps at Risk of Cyber Threats

October 13, 2016

Johnson & Johnson’s OneTouch Ping insulin pump poses a cybersecurity threat that can be life-threatening to diabetes patients.

Insulin Pumps at Risk of Cyber Threat

A cybersecurity researcher at Johnson & Johnson found ways to hack the device and infuse additional dosages of insulin and brought it to J&J’s attention in April. J&J investigated and worked with the hacker and U.S. regulators to address the flaw.

Hacking the pump requires technical expertise, sophisticated equipment and proximity to the pump because the OneTouch Ping system is not connected to a network. J&J has laid out steps that patients can take to reduce their risk which include turning off the pump’s wireless connection to a blood sugar meter or setting a limit on the amount of insulin delivered.

The hacker that found the threat is the same security researcher who exposed the issue with Medtronic’s pump in 2011 at a Las Vegas security conference.

In August, a short-seller and his investment firm found similar vulnerabilities St. Jude Medical Inc.’s pacemakers and defibrillators. The firm made a short call on St. Jude’s shares that allowed it to profit if the stock fell. St. Jude was not given an early warning about the potential risks from the investment firm, a standard in the cyber community. The firm claims that the deficiencies were so great and that St. Jude has been negligent. St. Jude claims that the devices tested were functioning normally and the deficiencies are a safety feature.

Security issues with medical devices have gotten more attention due to the increased reliance on wireless technology which makes the devices easier to use.

AIV, Inc. is committed to providing recertified IV pumps, replacement parts, accessories and repair service for major infusion equipment manufacturers. Learn more about AIV’s wide selection of IV pump solutions at https://aiv-inc.com/infusion-pump-parts.html.

About the Author

Laura Collier

Laura Collier

Laura Collier has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of North Florida. She is the Marketing Manager at AIV, Inc.

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