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FDA warns of medical device hack vulnerability

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Published: March 3, 2020 at 4:19 p.m. ET
By Wallace Witkowski
Source: Market Watch
Feature Photo Source: Unsplash, Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona

Certain chips used in medical devices may be vulnerable to hackers through their Bluetooth functions, the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday. The FDA said that SweynTooth, also known as Bluetooth Low Energy, used in medical devices such as pacemakers, stimulators, blood glucose monitors and insulin pumps, is vulnerable to hackers who can use the Bluetooth function to crash or compromise the device. Chip suppliers affected by the vulnerability include Texas Instruments Inc. TXN, -1.47%, NXP Semiconductors NV NXPI, -4.32%, Cypress Semiconductor Corp. cy, Dialog Semiconductors PLC DLG, +1.14%, Microchip Technology Inc. MCHP, -3.08%, STMicroelectronics NV STM, -0.95%, and Telink Semiconductor, the FDA said. “To date, the FDA is not aware of any confirmed adverse events related to these vulnerabilities,” the agency said in a statement. “However, software to exploit these vulnerabilities in certain situations is publicly available.”

About the Author

Wallace Witkowski

Wallace Witkowski came to MarketWatch from the Associated Press in New York, where he was a business reporter specializing in pharmaceutical companies. He previously reported for trade publications in covering the drug and medical-device industries back to 1998. Based in San Francisco, his focus is on U.S. equities. Follow Wally on Twitter at: @wmwitkowski.

How many medical devices include unauthorized experiments? Are medical professionals using technology to put people’s lives at risk and commit medical fraud? What should be done?

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