By creating fake devices which they used to lure hackers, researchers have revealed that medical machines such as MRI scanners may be vulnerable to security breaches. The researchers sourced these vulnerabilities via a search engine called Shodan which has been specifically created to look for devices which connect to the internet. Via this route, hackers could ultimately gain access to medical devices through computer systems within health organisations.
The experimental fake devices were used over a period of months to demonstrate to manufacturers that this type of equipment is certainly a target for hackers; there were many attempts to both log in to these devices and also install malware. The researchers suggested that this is not a “what if” scenario, but rather that this is already happening and warned that medical devices should be completely removed from the public internet behind many layers of security.