A security researcher who has diabetes hacked into his own medical equipment.
Jay Radcliffe wanted to know whether hackers could do the same to the medical devices of patients, particularly those with diabetes.
Unfortunately, it is possible.
Radcliffe, 33, shared his findings with the Associated Press before revealing them at a computer security conference in Las Vegas.
"My initial reaction was that this was really cool from a technical perspective," he told the AP. "The second reaction was one of maybe sheer terror, to know that there's no security around the devices which are a very active part of keeping me alive."
Radcliffe wears an insulin pump that can be controlled by a remote. He used that remote, another remote, and a USB device to manipulate the pump. He realized that by manipulating the USB device, he could make the pump do what he wanted it to do.
Technology for people with chronic diseases has become increasingly advanced. There are already medical devices that can be operated by doctors from a distance. In the case of an insulin pump hacker, the attacker would have to be within 200 feet of the victim. A hacker would need a strong antenna to target someone half a mile away.
Radcliffe insisted he did not want to alarm anyone. He did not disclose the type of insulin pump he uses, but he does plan to contact the manufacturer.