RealTime IT News

Cyber Threats to Health IT, Smart Grid All Too Real


Policy Fugue by Kenneth Corbin (bio)

Tracking the loveless marriage of technology and government


Cybersecurity experts warned a House panel Friday that medical and energy systems are increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks as they are introduced to networked environments.

Rodney Joffe, senior vice president with Neustar, described the ongoing battles with the worm Conficker he has been engaged in through the Conficker Working Group, a public-private consortium of security researchers working to stamp out the fast-mutating worm.

"As a sobering side note on this, last month in collaboration with one of the members of Conficker Working Group from Georgia Tech, we identified at least 300 critical medical devices from a single manufacturer ... that were infected with Conficker," Joffe said.

"The hospitals had no idea. The manufacturer had no idea. When we called them they were honestly shocked."

The infected devices, which are used to read high-density images like MRIs and CT scans in intensive-care units, became infected because they were connected to a local area network.

"They should never have been connected to the Internet," Joffe said.


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