US authorities on Thursday warned makers of medical devices and hospital networks to step up efforts to guard against potential cyber attacks.
The US Food and Drug Administration said implanted devices, which could include pacemakers or defibrillators, could be connected to networks that are vulnerable to hackers.
An FDA warning notice was sent to medical device manufacturers, hospitals, medical device user facilities, health care technical staff and biomedical engineers.
It said the agency has recently “become aware of cybersecurity vulnerabilities and incidents that could directly impact medical devices or hospital network operations.”
“The FDA is recommending that medical device manufacturers and health care facilities take steps to assure that appropriate safeguards are in place to reduce the risk of failure due to cyberattack,” the warning said.
These devices or systems could be compromised “by the introduction of malware into the medical equipment or unauthorized access to configuration settings in medical devices and hospital networks,” the FDA said.
“This may sound like it is out of a science fiction movie, but the threat is conceivably a serious one,” said Jon Ogg at 24/7 Wall Street.
“Can you imagine a device being retooled maliciously, like an inserted pacemaker/defibrillator? Or imagine if a robotic surgery system was maliciously recalibrated in even a slight manner for surgeries.
“The list of threats is endless.”
The FDA said it was “not aware of any patient injuries or deaths associated with these incidents” nor does it have any specific information on targeted devices.
The FDA said it had been working with other federal agencies as well as manufacturers, which it said are “responsible for remaining vigilant about identifying risks and hazards associated with their medical devices.”
Among the measures that should be taken, the FDA said, are limiting unauthorized device access, “particularly for those devices that are life-sustaining or could be directly connected to hospital networks.”
‘Go look at President Trump’s Twitter’: Portland right-wing rally organizer claims ‘mission success’
The organizer of a far-right rally in Portland, Oregon claimed the event was a "success" after President Donald Trump attacked Portlandiers protesting the group.
"A confluence of protesters on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum merged on Portland’s waterfront Saturday in a tense but relatively uneventful face-off that brought national attention, including a tweet in the hours before the protest by President Trump decrying the city’s signature anti-fascist movement," the Oregonian reported Saturday.
When a similar right-wing rally in Charlottesville, Virginia killed Heather Heyer, Trump argued there were "fine people" on both sides of the "Unite the Right" rally.
Why was Jeffrey Epstein buying size 5 women’s panties — while in jail?
The Miami Herald has another bombshell report on Jeffrey Epstein, who died in a Manhattan jail while waiting to stand trial on federal sex crimes charges.
"A decade ago, during a brief stint in Palm Beach County Jail, convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein made an odd purchase at the facility’s store: two pairs of small women’s panties, size 5," the Herald reported Saturday night.
The newspaper noted, "the panties raise questions about why a childless male inmate, accused of sexually abusing girls as young as 14, would be allowed to buy female undergarments so small that they wouldn’t fit an average-sized adult woman."
White nationalist Republican ridiculed after only 2 people show up for his town hall meeting
Embattled Rep. Steve King (R-IA) suffered further humiliation on Saturday when only two people showed up for his town hall meeting with Iowa constituents.
King, who was stripped of all committee assignments for his white nationalism, was been an embarrassment for Republicans with his constant racism and misogyny.
A photo of the town hall meeting was posted on Twitter by Reuters photo editor Corinne Perkins.
Rep. King was quickly mocked in the comments.
Here's some of what people were saying: