What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate
May 12, 2015
Even in the face of increasing network breaches, we distance ourselves from the threat. It’s a big box retailer or a global bank that’s been violated, not us. Our data and personal information might be in danger, but we assuage our fears with the sense and song that the sun’ll come out tomorrow and we’ll face the new day with purpose, repair the damage, and get on with our lives. What happens, though, when the cyber breach threatens a human heartbeat?
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle have sharpened the focus on Telesurgery, the efforts to extend the global reach of surgeons using communications technology and robotics. Robotic surgery has proven to be a solid advance in medical science, but attaching the robots to the ever-expanding Internet of Things is inviting a very personal brand of chaos.
Researchers planned and executed a series of attacks on both the largely open-source operating system and communications protocol, both important developments in the effort to export surgery to emerging markets. The attacks were designed to manipulate the operator’s commands sent to the robot’s PC-based control console, from simple re-ordering to complete hijacking, and the results ranged equally from jerky robotic movements to denial-of-service-type shutdowns. Such a vulnerability would not be considered epic if it involved your thermostat or toaster. But they’ve just hacked into the heart of scalable medicine’s future and grabbed the scalpel.
ICS is the Rambo of the cybersecurity world, without the emotional baggage and really big knife. Instead, we’re armed with cutting-edge technology and industry expertise that can protect your organization’s future from those who’d like to cut it short, with or without a surgical robot. It’s a jungle out there. And while we didn’t start this war, we’d like to end it before they draw, you know, first blood.