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Hacking has just gone too far!

October 30, 2016

We’re all pretty sick of hearing about the email hacks of the presidential candidates but hacking a diabetes patient – really? I wanted to share a story reported in the Oct. 4, 2016 Wall Street Journal that shows our personal hacking vulnerability. J&J warned diabetes patients and doctors that it’s OneTouch Ping insulin pump could be subject to hackers! They sent a letter to patients and doctors warning “a hacker could identify the specific frequency the device is using and then issue commands to the pump.”

Discovered by a Type 1 Diabetes Patient

“A hacker in close proximity to the OneTouch Ping insulin pump system could use sophisticated equipment to find the unencrypted radio signal used by the device and program the pump to supply insulin, J&J officials said.”   The OneTouch is mainly used by Type 1 diabetes patients and the vulnerability was discovered by a Type 1 Diabetes patient who happens to work in cybersecurity.

They went on to say “Parents like the convenience of the systems, which include a pump for delivering insulin and a meter for measuring blood-sugar levels that can also be used as a remote to program the pump. The meter communicates with the pump, from as far as 25 feet away, over unencrypted radio frequencies.” There is an option to turn off the wireless feature and the vulnerability goes away.

Although no incidence of medical hacking has been disclosed – to be vulnerable is not a good thing. Any medical device that hooks up to the internet or hospital computer networks are susceptible.

I thought I’d share, not to be an alarmist but to alert those with Type 1 diabetes that might be using the pump that this could be an issue. Hopefully you’ve been contacted by J&J if you’re using that pump but if not, please contact your physician. While not likely your first source of information, I do like to share and if it can help one person, it’s worth it. That’s just the way we roll!

Until Next Time!

About the Author:  Michele Redmon is the owner of I.C.O.E. Bracelets. She loved the peace of mind these bracelets provide so much she bought the company. She loves talking to her customers so drop her a line – mredmon@icoebracelets.com.

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