Hackers Targeting Outdated Healthcare Devices, FBI Warns

Daniel Attoe
Daniel Attoe

Updated · Sep 15, 2022

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The law enforcement agency warned that security vulnerabilities in connected devices are opening the healthcare industry to attacks.

Legacy Devices Vulnerable

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has issued an alert warning that hundreds of vulnerabilities in common medical devices are leaving room for cyberattacks.

The bureau’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) issued the notification, disclosing that unpatched medical devices running on outdated software were responsible for “an increasing number” of vulnerabilities. It pointed to the devices no longer receiving manufacturer support with patches or updates as an open door for hackers.

“Cyber threat actors exploiting medical device vulnerabilities adversely impact healthcare facilities’ operational functions, patient safety, data confidentiality, and data integrity,” the notification said.

It went on to add that challenges routinely arise from “the use of standardized configurations, specialized configurations, including a substantial number of managed devices on the network, lack of device embedded security features, and the inability to upgrade those features.”

According to the FBI, legacy machines can remain in use for as long as 30 years. This gives threat actors the time to discover and exploit loopholes. 

Connected medical and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices are especially vulnerable, with about 53% of them open to attack.

The FBI has also warned of phishing emails targeting healthcare payment processors.

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Daniel Attoe

Daniel Attoe

Daniel is an Economics grad who fell in love with tech. His love for books and reading pushed him into picking up the pen - and keyboard. Also a data analyst, he's taking that leap into data science and machine learning. When not writing or studying, chances are that you'll catch him watching football or face-deep in an epic fantasy novel.

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