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FDA warns of infusion pump vulnerability

August 7, 2015
by Sandra Hoban, Managing Editor
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In early August, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement  concerning the vulnerability of infusion pumps to being hacked. Symbiq Infusion System (Symbiq), which is used in hospitals, skilled nursing and other healthcare facilities, was the focus for issuing the statement.

Infusion pumps are used to administer drugs over an extended period of times. If remotely accessed, an unauthorized user can change the dosage the pump delivers, resulting in the disruption of patient therapies.

While no adverse events or remote access of the infusion delivery system have been reported, the FDA urges healthcare facilities to take steps to reduce risk. The most drastic would be to disconnect Symbiq from the healthcare facility’s network. An alternative would be to close certain ports and monitor network traffic to see if there are attempts to reach the Symbiq system.

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