Today, there are many hidden threats to access levels in various IoT devices – this has been widely discussed recently.

But few people imagine the real state of Affairs: all those small devices that have a real operating system, which the average person does not even know that it can be here – in cars, planes, space satellites, as well as in printers, cellular cards, Bank card chips, and, finally, in pacemakers – can be subject to hacking and unauthorized access, and not only to them, but also to those systems where these devices have access by default. This can be both personal computers of specialists and company servers, as well as cloud services.

That is, pacemakers, insulin pumps for diabetics, hearing AIDS with cloud-based speech recognition-and other medical systems-are potentially dangerous in terms of computer security.

Of course, designers of such devices strive to make them as compact as possible, energy-efficient for greater autonomy, and at the same time sufficiently productive for reliable performance of their direct functions. However, this also applies to other systems, such as the widely discussed Autonomous video surveillance cameras (they need autonomy to record events in the event of such incidents as, for example, a power outage, a failure of cellular communication to transmit data, or, for example, deliberate suppression of the network signal using special devices – when the camera still writes to its own memory and then when restoring communication, transmits the recorded data to the server).

Such incidents affect the device’s autonomy, performance, and service life. That is, if the same pacemaker must constantly monitor the extreme critical parameters of the heart, the so – called peak values, and record them in memory, and then transfer them to the specialist’s computer when visiting a specialist cardiotechnical center-there is, in the absence of basic security measures, a very high probability of obtaining unauthorized access to both the pacemaker itself and its connection infrastructure.

It doesn’t make sense to consider such scenarios as viral infection of the pacemaker yet, since it will happen in any case if there is interest.

For the first time, public attention was drawn to this threat in 2017, but the practical conclusions of researchers have not yet found a response from manufacturers of medical equipment. On the one hand, this is understandable: no one will remove devices from the human body for such reasons. If we also take into account the fact that the age of patients in clinics is often over 60 years old, when the regeneration processes are significantly slowed down and the immune system works in a reduced mode, the risks of replacing the pacemaker are high.

Therefore, to the credit of doctors and technicians, recognizing the problem and the need to improve security, medical centers went to update the firmware of devices. About 446,000 pacemakers were voluntarily recalled for firmware.

In General, it is estimated that from 22% to 45% at this time are subject to such threats, and developers are working to achieve the proper level of security.

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