Guide Security for Wireless Implantable Medical Devices

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About this book In the treatment of chronic diseases, wireless Implantable Medical Devices IMDs are commonly used to communicate with an outside programmer reader. Show all. Related Work Pages Hei, Xiali et al.

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Recommended for you. One possibility would be to physically open the devices and analyse their software. However, we followed a non-invasive, black-box approach, which consisted of providing some inputs to the devices and then inferring information about the protocol by looking at their outputs that is, the produced messages. Figure 2.

Postmarket Management of Cybersecurity in Medical Devices

The system intercepts the transmissions between IMD and device programmer. Although our black-box process is labour intensive, it mimics the approach that a less skilled adversary would use to hack an IMD without prior knowledge about the system specifications.

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By following this approach, we want to investigate the feasibility of reverse engineering the protocol by a weak attacker who can wirelessly intercept the messages sent over the air between the devices, but cannot physically access the devices. Before beginning our research, we evaluated several combinations of wireless transceivers and software development tools.

Firstly, LabVIEW delivers a fast and intuitive graphical programming paradigm, as well as hundreds of prebuilt code modules that can immediately implement common engineering functions. This allows users to create complex programs by using only a few functional blocks.

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Thirdly, thanks to the user forums on ni. Although the functionality of the code is intricate, thanks to the power of dataflow in LabVIEW the implementation of the code makes it look simple.

Security Risks in the Sensors of Implantable Medical Devices

Figure 3. In addition, we used the USB with its high-speed, high-resolution multifunctional capabilities to perform the necessary data acquisition with ease. Furthermore, we installed software add-ons such as the Modulation Toolkit, which facilitated the modulation and demodulation of the data, as well as processing signals and plotting them across the frequency and time domains. This toolkit meant we could test the communication system and thoroughly validate our results.

We aimed to emphasise the importance of wireless security in medical devices. We have shown that, using a simple black-box approach to reverse engineer proprietary protocols, malicious hackers could eavesdrop the IMD channels to learn sensitive patient information.

Implantable Medical Devices May Expose Patients To Security, Privacy Risks

Worse still, they could send commands to the IMD to cause it to drain its batteries, and modify or disable a therapy. No physical access is required to pull off these attacks, and the consequences could prove fatal for the patient. We hope that the results that we provided to the medical companies emphasise the need to improve the security mechanisms of their IMDs through the inclusion of strong cryptography and standard symmetric key authentication, and accelerate the process by which this is done. Discover and collaborate on the latest example code and tutorials with a worldwide community of engineers and scientists.

Xiali Hei (Author of Security for Wireless Implantable Medical Devices)

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