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Hospital Devices Exposed to Hacking with Unsupported Operating Systems


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Affected devices include x-ray machines, magnetic resonance imagers (MRIs), mammograms, and computerized axial tomography (CAT) scanners.

More than four out of five medical imaging devices reviewed by cybersecurity researchers were running on unsupported operating systems, leaving them vulnerable to hackers.

Credit: Getty Images

Cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks found that 83% of Internet-linked imaging devices in hospitals use outdated and un-updateable software containing known bugs that hackers can exploit.

Affected devices include x-ray machines, magnetic resonance imagers (MRIs), mammograms, and computerized axial tomography (CAT) scanners.

Palo Alto Networks analyzed 1.2 million Internet-connected devices in hospitals and other businesses, and the firm's Ryan Olson said hospitals may struggle to update their imaging devices because they rely on third-party vendors to provide patches.

Said Olson, "These devices are playing an important role in the hospital, and they need to be functional at all times."

Outdated software is just one attack vector; other opportunities for exploitation include staff receiving emails on computers operating on the same network as the imaging devices, which opens them up to phishing attacks.

From CNet
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