Two years ago, researcher Jay Radcliffe made waves when he demonstrated to Black Hat audiences how he could remotely hack the same type of insulin pump he depends on as a diabetic and remotely turn it off without the permission of a potential patient. That helped spur a number of research efforts by other security testers throughout the community, including Barnaby Jack of IOActive, who last year refined Radcliffe's work and showed a wireless device he created that could scan an area of 300 feet around it to take over those pumps and potentially dispense fatal doses of insulin to a victim.
Sadly, Jack, passed away suddenly, just days before he could reprise his talk with another one showing how it is possible to remotely take over implanted pacemaker devices. His talk will be replaced with a memorial, but IOActive CEO Jennifer Stephens said the company will eventually work to ensure Jack's work helps strengthen medical device security in the long run. Meanwhile, Radcliffe will return to Black Hat to give a case study to researchers on how to work with the FDA to disclose future vulnerabilities they may find in medical devices.
Ericka Chickowski specializes in coverage of information technology and business innovation. She has focused on information security for the better part of a decade and regularly writes about the security industry as a contributor to Dark Reading. View Full Bio