Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

Hospitals Open to Hacks From Brain Scans

Don't let the headlines about brain-scan hacks scare you.

It's not like hackers can get inside your head. But they can get into hospital systems through a program used in brain scans.

They can get patient data and shutdown hospital computers, like other hacks that compromised systems medicating patients intravenously. On second thought, you should be afraid -- be very afraid.

NeuroWorks

NeuroWorks is Windows-based software used in electroencephalograms sold by Nautus. Hundreds of hospitals use it to connect EEF devices with patient data.

According to a Cisco research group, the software has multiple security issues. Among other threats, the company said, hackers can remotely crash hospital systems.

Cisco said attackers target health care because it is a "lucrative source of funds" through ransomware. The company said hospitals need to patch potentially vulnerable systems immediately.

"Any malicious activity needs to detected, blocked and the source of the activity remediated in order to prevent serious harm being incurred by organisations, and most importantly prevent harm being inflicted on patients."

Security Bugs

Security bugs have plagued hospitals over the past two years. Hollywood Presbyterian, for example, had to turn away emergency room patients because of ransomware.

Ars Technica said hospitals have not done enough to guard against cyberattacks. Despite warnings from the Food and Drug Administration, some vulnerable systems are widely used.

"Hospira Symbiq infusion systems, which pump drugs directly into patients' blood streams, can still be found in many hospitals despite FDA warnings of their vulnerability to cyber attack issued in 2015," the ezine reported.

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