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posted by martyb on Thursday February 20 2020, @01:24AM   Printer-friendly
from the security++ dept.

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2020/02/medical-device-vulnerability-highlights-problem-of-third-party-code-in-iot-devices/

When your family opened up that brand-new computer when you were a kid, you didn't think of all of the third-party work that made typing in that first BASIC program possible. There once was a time when we didn't have to worry about which companies produced all the bits of licensed software or hardware that underpinned our computing experience. But recent malware attacks and other security events have shown just how much we need to care about the supply chain behind the technology we use every day.

The URGENT/11 vulnerability, the subject of a Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency advisory issued last July, is one of those events. It forces us to care because it affects multiple medical devices.

[...] medical device vendors don't always have the flexibility to upgrade their underlying platforms because of the way they license components. Since third-party components are usually licensed for a prebuilt function, the license may only allow for the device's use with a certain version of an operating system or kernel.

[...] addressing the risks means understanding and addressing the value chain for how a device evolves from concept to disposition. We need to also evolve how devices are designed and updated to match the level of support that Samsung and Apple provide. This means there needs to be dedication by manufacturers to use platforms for a longer time and a commitment to keeping the build chains current to be able to consistently deliver patches and updates to customers.

[...] Outside of the major manufacturers, many of the companies that manufacture these devices are smaller businesses, and they have to be able to afford to develop new devices and support what they have at the same time—which is often difficult even for large companies.

We need to partner with our medical device vendors to solve issues like Urgent/11 through better processes. We need to understand how the devices work, and we need to understand that it takes a lot of work to get a patch out for devices that are more complex than a standard PC. Deploying patches to these devices also carries different risks.

The S in Medical IoT stands for Security.


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  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2020, @01:45AM (8 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2020, @01:45AM (#960121)

    If your medical device is approved with NiftyJavaToy v1.12, you aren't allowed to update NiftyJavaToy to v1.13 without putting the device through another 6 month certification process.

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2020, @01:49AM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2020, @01:49AM (#960125)

    But if you relax the FDA's power, the meat packers are going to start mixing rat carcasses into the hamburger again.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2020, @02:14AM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2020, @02:14AM (#960138)

      Cows fart Evil Methane, rats don't. Rats are Green Technology!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2020, @02:48AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2020, @02:48AM (#960149)

        Simpson's did it!

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday February 20 2020, @05:01AM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 20 2020, @05:01AM (#960202) Journal

        The good news: we found the markedroid among us guys.
        The bad news: he's AC.

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Thursday February 20 2020, @06:39PM (1 child)

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Thursday February 20 2020, @06:39PM (#960395) Journal

        Cows don't fart.

    • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Thursday February 20 2020, @07:54PM

      by krishnoid (1156) on Thursday February 20 2020, @07:54PM (#960420)

      Hey, you can't fight the future [youtube.com]. Just make sure you use the right seasonings.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2020, @10:45PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2020, @10:45PM (#960470)

    Having been around several of these systems.

    Blaming the FDA is about the last thing to start with. Usually lowest bidder quality here...

    "stop asking questions about that server or else...". Unsecured, middle of the room, no password, access to ALL of the devices, only one guy knows how it works. Sure no problem! But at least they moved it to an unlocked office after I pointed it out.