Johnson & Johnson Insulin Pumps at Risk of Hacking

Johnson & Johnson announced Tuesday that its insulin pumps are vulnerable to hacking The company sent an email to customers to make them aware of the danger, including the possibility of a fatal insulin overdose.

The insulin pump is operated from the handheld control through unencrypted radio signals, which a hacker could replicate with the right technology. Johnson & Johnson emphasized that the possibility of a hack was very unlikely, stating:

It would require technical expertise, sophisticated equipment and proximity to the pump, as the OneTouch Ping system is not connected to the internet or to any external network.

114,000 diabetic patients could be at risk from this vulnerability. However, there are steps insulin pump owners can take to protect themselves, including disabling the remote control feature and limiting the amount of insulin the pump may administer at one time.

Jay Radcliffe at computer security firm rapid7 discovered the possible hack and quickly altered Johnson & Johnson of the issue. Radcliffe said that the company has done a great job responding to the vulnerability and does not blame them for the issue, because the insulin pumps were designed before security issues like this became a common concern.

Copyright for image: photografier / 123RF Stock Photo

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Ashton DeLano is a junior at the George Washington University pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Economics with minors in Business Administration and Computer Science. He intends to cover developments in the health and energy sectors and the impact of new technologies on the consumer.


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