It’s Way Too Easy to Hack the Hospital

If you recall this post from 2011, you knew this day was coming.

The culture of “Patch & Pray” will be the downfall so long as America chooses to be reactive over proactive.

 

Firewalls and medical devices are extremely vulnerable, and everyone’s pointing fingers

In the fall of 2013, Billy Rios flew from his home in California to Rochester, Minn., for an assignment at the Mayo Clinic, the largest integrated nonprofit medical group practice in the world. Rios is a “white hat” hacker, which means customers hire him to break into their own computers. His roster of clients has included the Pentagon, major defense contractors, Microsoft, Google, and some others he can’t talk about.

But when he showed up, he was surprised to find himself in a conference room full of familiar faces. The Mayo Clinic had assembled an all-star team of about a dozen computer jocks, investigators from some of the biggest cybersecurity firms in the country, as well as the kind of hackers who draw crowds at conferences such as Black Hat and Def Con. The researchers split into teams, and hospital officials presented them with about 40 different medical devices. Do your worst, the researchers were instructed. Hack whatever you can. Continue reading

HHS Boosting Nation’s Stockpile of Burn Treatments in Case of Nuclear Attack

(CNSNews.com) – “The detonation of an improvised nuclear device would produce intense heat, resulting in many patients with severe burns,” says a September 30 news release from the Department of Health and Human Services.

The announcement says HHS has contracted for the development of “four novel products to treat severe thermal burns.”

The four treatments — one commercially available right now and three in development — “will be added to the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) or managed by vendors to help protect people from burn injuries resulting from radiological and nuclear threats,” HHS said. Continue reading

California Nurses Strike Over Ebola Preparedness

A lack of preparedness for possible Ebola cases is symptomatic of a more general erosion in patient care standards, claims National Nurses United

Almost 20,000 nurses went on strike in California on Tuesday, ahead of national protests planned for Wednesday over what union leaders deem a lack of protection for nurses who might treat Ebola patients. Continue reading

Media: Germany ‘working to build Ebola transport plane’

A German newspaper has reported that the government is developing a special aircraft designed to transport Ebola patients. At present, only the US has planes equipped for the task.

Citing government sources, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reported that officials planned to develop several planes that were designed to safely carry such highly infectious patients. Continue reading