Medtronic recalls insulin pumps because hackers could hijack device

pump man

Courtesy of CBS

(CBS) — Medtronic is recalling several models of its MiniMed insulin pumps because of a cybersecurity risk that could allow hackers to take control of the devices remotely and change their settings, potentially leading to serious health complications.

“Patients with diabetes using these models should switch their insulin pump to models that are better equipped to protect against these potential risks,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a statement.

The pumps work by using a wireless radio frequency to communicate with other devices used by diabetics, such as blood glucose monitors and glucose sensor transmitters. In a letter to patients, Medtronic said that “an unauthorized person” could potentially connect wirelessly to one of the nearby pumps and change its settings.

Because insulin pumps regulate the dose and frequency of insulin given to diabetics, interference with their settings could cause potentially serious health implications.

“This could lead to hypoglycemia (if additional insulin is delivered) or hyperglycemia and diabetic ketoacidosis (if not enough insulin is delivered),” Medtronic said in the letter.

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