According to the American Diabetes Association, an estimated 29.1 million Americans have diabetes. Around 1.29 million of these people suffer from Type 1 diabetes and require insulin and other treatments to manage their condition.
With so many individuals currently struggling with the illness, it's concerning that Johnson & Johnson just issued a warning about the potential of its Animas OneTouch Ping Insulin Infusion Pump being hacked.
The report says that while risk is "extremely low" and zero incidents have been reported, Johnson & Johnson is being proactive in issuing the warning.
The device is not connected to the internet and is a two-part system: the pump itself and its wireless meter remote. The two parts communicate back and forth in order to administer insulin wirelessly.
Therefore, the company found that a hacker with "technical expertise, sophisticated equipment and proximity to the pump" could use its unencrypted radio frequency communication system to gain access to the pump, which, worst case scenario could turn into a life or death situation.
What you can do
Animas has already sent out letters to around 114,000 of its patients throughout the U.S. and Canada with the following instructions:
- Turn off the pump's radio frequency feature. This means you will need to adjust other settings in order for it to still work. Click here to access the One Touch manual for details on these settings. (Section 3, Chapter 2, page 179).
- In the pump's settings, choose to limit the amount of insulin that can be delivered. (Section 1, Chapter 10 in the manual).
- Turn on alerts. (Section 1, Chapter 4 in the manual).
What's worse is that insulin pumps aren't the only medical devices that can be hacked. Pacemakers, MRI machines, even your medical records are all at risk. Internet security expert Billy Rios explains how easily life-saving medical devices can be compromised with deadly results in this free Komando Podcast. Listen below.