Killed by code 2015
So - guess what? Safety is not cyber security! Managing cyber security for medical devices is a challenge for medical device vendors and regulatory consultants who are accustomed to estimating patient safety risk without having to explain and understand a complex, rapidly changing and interconnected environment of vulnerabilities, attackers, attacker entry points and zero-day threats. In this updated version of a talk I gave 5 years ago - I show how to use threat modeling in order to provide a prioritized security countermeasure plan that will cost the medical device vendor the least amount of money and save him the grief of trying to deal with cyber threats in his safety risk analysis.
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Killed by code 2015
Mob Sec Mobile Security Conference 4/11/2010 Herzliya
Danny Lieberman – Software Associates.
Mobile medical is hot
A threat model framework for secure code
Mobile consumer electronics creates
potential for life-saving applications
that are cheaper and more
accessible than any other
Social benefit comes at the price of
In this talk we present a systematic
method of analysing cyber threats in
mobile medical devices.
Who: Patients, care-givers, doctors
What: Data acquisition
Why: Controlling symptoms of chronic
illness requires tracking data over long
periods of time.
• Heart rate
• Blood pressure
• Dosage (insulin, dopamine …)
Platforms : Smart-phones, data &
What: Implanted devices for cardiac
pacing, defibrillation, drug delivery…
Why: Sustain life
Platforms : Embedded devices with
mobile connectivity for remote
monitoring & programming.
Chronic heart disease
“…the latest technology in a full complement of patient-focused CRM products”
An attacker may exploit
vulnerabilities to cause damage to
Security countermeasures mitigate
vulnerabilities and reduce risk.
Patient with ICD
Threat T1 – A malicious attacker may exploit a clear text
protocol and instruct an ICD to deliver a shock that would
cause sudden cardiac death.
Vulnerability V1 – Clear text communications protocol
Countermeasure C1 – Encrypt network link
Countermeasure C2 – Validate messages using secure
In 2008, approximately 350,000
pacemakers and 140,000 ICDs were
implanted in the US.
Forecasted to $48BN in 2014.
Proof of concept attack:
• Reverse-engineered commands
• Intercepted vital signs, history
• Reprogrammed therapy settings
• DoS to deplete battery
• Directed the ICD to deliver 137V
shocks that would induce
ventricular fibrillation in a patient.
2008 ICD vulnerability study
Threat T2 – An internal short circuit is undetected by the
device control software and may be fatal.
Vulnerability V2 – Software doesn’t monitor hardware
Countermeasure C3 – Notify customer service when
hardware issue identified.
Countermeasure C4 – Implement fail-safe function
The FDA issued 23 recalls of
defective devices in H1/2010.
All were “Class 1” :
“reasonable probability that use of
these products will cause serious
adverse health consequences or
At least 6 recalls were
probably caused by
Weak or well-
Threat T3 – Malicious code may be used in order to exploit
multiple vulnerabilities and obtain patient information
Vulnerability V3 – USB, and/or Internet access enabled
Countermeasure C4 – Hardware toggle USB
Countermeasure C5 – Network isolation
Countermeasure C6 – Software security assessment
Mobile imaging analysis devices
used by hospital radiologists had
unplanned Internet access.
Over 300 devices infected by
Conficker and taken out of service.
Regulatory requirements mandated
that the impacted hospitals would
have to wait 90 days before the
systems could be modified to remove
the infections and vulnerabilities.
Guidance documents from 2015
extend FDA regulatory oversight –
1. Mobile apps that are medical
devices, draft 2/2015
2. Cyber security for networked
devices, final 10/2014
If a device has FDA pre-market
approval, consumers cannot sue the
manufacturer for injuries and
disability incurred because of the
“Riegel v. Medtronic “, 2008
Assess product risk
Cyber security asset and
Product management has 1
dollar in their pocket:
Countermeasure C1 –
Encrypt network link to ICD
Countermeasure C21 –
Validate POST requests
with secure tokens.
Countermeasure C3 –
Wearable “cloaker” to ensure
that only authorized
programmers can interact
with the device.
Transparency means more eyeballs
can look at issues.
More eyeballs reduces cost.
More eyeballs means safer devices.
Safer devices means more revenue.
Riegel v. Medtronic, Inc.
Pacemakers and implantable cardiac defibrillators: Software radio
attacks and zero-power defenses.
Daniel Halperin et al.
Proceedings of the 29th Annual IEEE Symposium on Security and
Privacy, May 2008.
Software transparency in imbedded medical devices
Prof. Nir Giladi,Tel Aviv Souraski Hospital Neurology Department,
personal communication on data tracking for MSA patients
Biotronik – cellular pacemaker, http://www.biotronik.com/en/us/19412