Security Problems Discovered in 75% of Infusion Pumps

This week, researchers at Palo Alto’s Unit 42 team posted a report that indicates security issues and vulnerabilities usually are present in smart infusion pumps. These bedside gadgets mechanize the supply of medicines and fluids to patients and are linked to networks to enable them to be remotely monitored by hospitals.

The researchers utilized crowdsourced scans from over 200,000 infusion pumps at hospitals and other medical companies and looked for vulnerabilities and security problems that can possibly be taken advantage of. The devices were evaluated against about 40 identified vulnerabilities and around 70 other IoT vulnerabilities.

3/4 of the 200,000 infusion pumps were identified to have security issues that put them at a greater risk of being affected by attackers. Worryingly, 52% of the examined devices were identified to be prone to two critical infusion pump vulnerabilities since 2019, one of which is a critical vulnerability given a CVSS severity rating of 9.8 (Wind River VxWorks CVE-2019-12255), while the other is a high severity vulnerability having a CVSS score of 7.1 (Wind River VxWorks CVE-2019-12264).

Vulnerabilities in infusion pumps can be used to bring about hurt to individuals. By getting access to the equipment, attackers may halt the supply of medicines and fluids or cause the equipment to supply likely fatal dosages of medications. Vulnerabilities can likewise be exploited to obtain access to, change, or erase sensitive patient information, and it is the latter kind of vulnerability that is most popular.

Although a few of these vulnerabilities and notifications may be unlikely for attackers to make the most of unless physically found in a company, all signify a possible risk to the general protection of healthcare companies and the security of patients – specifically in circumstances wherein threat actors may be encouraged to place more resources into attacking a target. The finding of security problems in three of four infusion pumps examined shows the requirement for the healthcare market to redouble efforts to safeguard against identified vulnerabilities, while vigilantly following guidelines for infusion pumps and hospital systems.

Big hospitals and clinics may utilize thousands of infusion pumps. If vulnerabilities are identified, patching or using compensating controls swiftly can be a big problem. First, the impacted devices should be determined, then they should be patched, fixed, or changed. In case any vulnerable device is overlooked, it will stay susceptible to attack and a patient’s life might be put in danger.

It is essential to keep a precise inventory of infusion pumps (as well as other IoMT devices) used and to have the capacity to quickly find out, locate, and evaluate the use of the devices. Security teams need to do a holistic risk evaluation and proactively locate vulnerabilities and determine compliance problems.

Risk reduction guidelines ought to be employed. Real-time risk checking, reporting, and notifying are important for institutions to proactively decrease IoMT danger. Constant profiling of device activity and behavior produces information that could be correctly transformed into risk-based Zero-Trust policy advice. Hospitals and clinics must take steps as well to prohibit known targeted IoT malware, spyware, and exploits, avoid the usage of DNS for C2 communications, and end access to bad URLs as well as malicious websites to avert the loss of sensitive records.

Elizabeth Hernandez

Elizabeth Hernandez is the editor of HIPAA News section of HIPAA Coach and an experienced journalist in the healthcare sector. She specializes in healthcare and HIPAA compliance, making her a go-to source for information on healthcare regulations. Her work focuses on the importance of patient privacy and secure information handling. Elizabeth also has a postgraduate degree in journalism. Follow on Twitter: You can follow Elizabeth on twitter at