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The Dangers of Overlooking Medical Device Security

March 9, 2020


Patient safety is always top-of-mind for healthcare organizations and while the world has seen magnificent strides in the form of medical technology, maintaining security standards is now more important than ever. Marie Moe, Sr. Security Consultant at mnemonic and professor at NTNU, has dealt with the repercussions first hand. She shares a personal story about how poor encryption and security practices affected her own pacemaker device.

Two wires are connected to the heart through a way it's attached to the inside of the heart muscle. These two wires can potentially fracture, and this is what usually can go wrong with the pacemaker. So I was really worried that these fires one of them had fractures, was touching the chest muscle, and that's what was causing this disturbance. But I went to the hospital and when I was then attached to this pacemaker programmer, there was an error message on the screen saying it's a data error in the pacemaker. He had never seen this before, but also the error message said that this can be fixed by a firmware update.
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Marie Moe

Marie Moe is a senior security consultant at mnemonic, and has a PhD in information security. She is currently doing research on the security of her own personal critical infrastructure, an implanted pacemaker that is generating every single beat of her heart.

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