Equipment made by Bayer and Siemens vulnerable too.
In the era of constant connectivity, Internet of Things devices reign supreme. They’ve been working their way into our daily lives at rapid pace while eager consumers snap them up. Televisions, kitchen appliances, security cameras, thermostats… there’s an ever-growing list of items that make our lives easier and more entertaining thanks to 24/7 connectivity.
Life saving equipment
Some of the devices aren’t just frivolous time savers (looking at you, app-controlled countertop slow cooker). Some of the IoT devices already in use are literal lifesavers, helping medical professionals monitor and control patient care remotely. Unfortunately, security experts have speculated about the potential for medical devices to be hacked and turn on us, possibly causing life threatening harm.
While the reality of a cybercriminal holding a business executive’s life for ransom simply by hacking into his pacemaker is still the stuff of science fiction, the recent WannaCry attack brought the fantasy far too close to home when multiple hospital networks were infected. The shutdown of patient care was bad enough, but now researchers have learned that some medical equipment was infected as well, including a machine that determines the amount and dispenses the chemical dye that a patient needs for advanced imaging scans like MRIs. However, the manufacturer of the infected device has said this kind of infection would in no way danger patients, that it would only cause the machine to stop working.
Bayer and Siemens
Two separate companies have acknowledged the possibility that their devices were vulnerable to the WannaCry ransomware attack, Bayer and Siemens. It’s quite likely that other devices face the same level of threat.
There is still a lot of speculation involving WannaCry and the situations that led to its widespread infection. Microsoft has issued a statement to the effect that the US National Security Administration is largely to blame, as the NSA knew about the security hole in Windows and kept quiet about it in order to use that hole for spying purposes. When the NSA’s resulting technology was stolen by hackers, the end result was a new wave of malware.
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