Friday, April 01, 2016
Cyber Security Seems To Be Attracting A Lot Of Attention In The Health Sector This Week!
First we had this appear:
Date February 19, 2016
The eighth and final budget is announced by President Barack Obama, and it includes a $19 billion boost in cyber security funding aimed at replacing insecure and 'downright ancient' systems.
Not too long ago, taking the United States' wild, messy, unreliable system of medical records online seemed like a worthy goal.
"To improve the quality of our health care while lowering its cost, we will make the immediate investments necessary to ensure that, within five years, all of America's medical records are computerised," President Obama said. "This will cut waste, eliminate red tape and reduce the need to repeat expensive medical tests."
While the shift Obama and many others pushed may have improved care, electronic medical records led to quite the unique hostage situation in Los Angeles this week. There, a hospital fell prey to a cyberattack — and has escaped its plight by paying hackers a $US17,000 ($23,740) ransom.
Allen Stefanek, president and chief executive of Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, explained the situation in a statement.
"On the evening of February 5th, our staff noticed issues accessing the hospital's computer network," he wrote. "Our IT department began an immediate investigation and determined we had been subject to a malware attack. The malware locked access to certain computer systems and prevented us from sharing communications electronically."
What communications needed to be electronically shared? As Stefanek pointed out a few paragraphs later, medical records. As reports emerged of the hospital being forced to resort to the pre-historic days of paper charts, at least one patient was feeling the pain.
"I wasn't feeling very well, went in for a checkup and they said their computers were down," patient Melissa Garza told Fox 11 last week. "I asked, 'What's going on here?' and they said we were hacked."
Lots more here:
Second we have this:
Jo Hartley | 23 March, 2016 |
The Australian Prime Minister falls to the floor clutching his chest as cybercriminals play power games with his pacemaker. A final flip of the remote and he’s dead.
It makes for gripping TV, but could this Homeland scene really happen?
Yes, says cybersecurity expert Dr Robert Merkel (PhD), an IT researcher at Monash University, Melbourne.
Dr Merkel is speaking with Australian Doctor following the release of a TGA alert advising medical device makers and hospitals to carry out IT assessments to determine the risk of cyber attack.
The warning covers devices from PET scanners to life support machines.
Of particular concern are wireless heart monitors, infusion pumps and other medication-dispensing equipment that connects to the internet, as potential hackers can operate them remotely.
“Although there have been no reports of hacking attacks on medical devices in Australia, there have been reports of such attacks overseas,” the TGA says.
“Cybersecurity experts in Australia have demonstrated a wide range of potential vulnerabilities in simulated attacks,” it adds.
Dr Merkel agrees the opportunity to hack medical devices is real, especially for the growing number of internet-connected devices.
Few ‘cybercrims’ would go to the effort of hacking a wireless device they had to be within 100 metres of, he says, but “if it is connected to the internet, then anyone in the world has the potential for easy access”.
It’s hard to say much more than to point the risks out and hope everyone in the sector can take sensible steps to minimise risks. There is clearly great pain to be felt if people are not successful!
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Friday, April 01, 2016