Zingbox Identifies New Trend in Cyber Attacks Targeting Connected Medical IoT Devices — and the Patients That Use Them

Zingbox, the provider of the most widely deployed healthcare Internet of Things (IoT) analytics platform, today announced new research demonstrating that hackers are leveraging error messages from connected medical devices including radiology, X-ray and other imaging systems to gain valuable insights. These insights are then used to refine the attacks, increasing the chance of successful hack.

Hackers are finding new and creative ways to target connected medical devices. We have to be in front of these trends and vulnerabilities before they can cause real harm, said Xu Zou, Zingbox CEO and co-founder. We make it our mission to assist and collaborate with device manufacturers to ensure the security and uninterrupted service of connected medical devices.

The information gathering phase of a typical cyberattack is very time-intensive, where hackers learn as much as they can about the target network and devices. By simply monitoring the network traffic for common error messages, hackers can gain valuable insight into the inner workings of a devices application; the type of web server, framework and versions used; the manufacturer that developed it; the database engine in the back end; the protocols used; and even the line of code that is causing the error. Hackers can also target specific devices to induce error messages. With this information, the information gathering phase is greatly shortened and they can quickly customize their attack to be tailored to the target device.

Zingboxs research discovered that:

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  • Information shared as part of common error messages can be leveraged by hackers to compromise target connected devices.
  • Hackers can trick or induce medical devices into sharing detailed information about the devices inner workings.
  • Leveraging this information quickens a hackers access to a hospitals network.

Imagine how much more effective hackers can be if they find out that a device is running on IIS Web Server, using Oracle as backend and even gathering usernames, said Daniel Regalado, principal security researcher at Zingbox and co-author of Gray Hat Hacking. That will help them to focus their attack vectors towards the database where PHI data might be stored.

The research also revealed that the healthcare industry has made great strides in collaborating across providers, vendors and manufacturers: there was rapid response and a willingness to generate patches for their medical devices from three out of seven manufacturers whose devices were included in the study. However, there is still work to be done to bring the urgency of these findings as well as increased collaboration between security vendors and device manufacturers.

For more details see full report available here.

About Zingbox

Zingbox is the provider of the most widely deployed healthcare Internet of Things (IoT) analytics platform. Recently named a Cool Vendor in IoT Security by Gartner and recipient of the Stevie Award for Most Innovative Company, Zingbox helps hospitals realize the full potential of their IoT medical devices, delivering a new standard for uninterrupted quality care through device inventory, management, security, and optimization for the entire IoT environment. The companys device-specific AI-powered machine learning platform uses the first real-time deep behavioral learning technology for connected medical devices. For more information, please visit http://www.zingbox.com.

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