Hackers have brought their scare factor to a whole new level. They are learning how to take over life-saving medical equipment and the results could be deadly.
A security firm performed an experiment to prove that hackers can access machines with patient data. We were hoping the experiment didn't work, but unfortunately it did. It's that easy for hackers to tamper with your most personal information.
It's worse than just accessing your information, though. They can also sell and tamper with diagnoses and results. This can lead to potentially harmful treatments and prevent doctors from accessing life-saving data.
Clinics and hospitals use sophisticated medical devices that work as fully functional computers with operating systems installed on them, and many rely on the Internet to work. Unfortunately, these devices are gold mines for hackers.
And they're easy to access. Some devices use old operating systems like Windows XP, which have unpatched vulnerabilities. These systems can be expensive, and if they're working OK, companies and healthcare facilities sometime just keep on using them.
We've been covering a lot of recent ransomeware attacks against hospitals in the United States and Canada, like the big ransomeware attacks on hospitals in Los Angeles and Kentucky, so we know hackers are targeting the industry.
Experts say cyber criminals are using the Shodan search engine to look for medical devices connected to the Internet, such as MRI scanners, cardiology equipment, and more. GReAT is advising hospitals to use strong passwords, patch vulnerabilities regularly and back up important information. That's a valuable message for you, too.