Wednesday, November 02, 2016

A Cyberattack & Medical Devices - a Letter Re "When Crib Monitors Double as Web Weaponry," NY Times

To the Editor:

While many experienced the recent internet attack as a fleeting inconvenience, it portends much more.

As you described, the hack channeled millions of unprotected devices from a widening class of appliances on the Internet of Things (IoT). But the IoT is more than just a hodgepodge of interconnected refrigerators and security cameras; a growing subset is medical instruments and recreational devices — like heartbeat-monitoring watches — that report back medically relevant information.

The attack exposed the pervasive lack of cybersecurity for these devices.

With medical IoT, hacking threats are scarier than just a night without Netflix and Twitter; they threaten the privacy of our medical information, or in extremely malicious cases, even lives.

The cross-border portability of many IoT devices means that regulatory control will be ineffective in enforcing security. Rather, there needs to be industrywide cooperation that adopts useful standards before something worse happens.


Above is a published letter, with the following citation:

D Greenbaum & M Gerstein, NY Times, 2 Nov. 2016, Opinion Pages
A Cyberattack and Medical Devices

A huge potential #IoT hazard !

Published letter in response to:

A New Era of Internet Attacks Powered by Everyday Devices
OCT. 22, 2016
A version of this article appears in print on October 23, 2016, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline:  .