Listen to Your Heart: Evaluation of the Cardiologic Ecosystem

  • Modern implantable cardiologic devices communicate via radio frequency techniques and nearby gateways to a backend server on the internet. Those implanted devices, gateways, and servers form an ecosystem of proprietary hardware and protocols that process sensitive medical data and is often vital for patients’ health. This paper analyzes the security of this Ecosystem, from technical gateway aspects, via the programmer, to configure the implanted device, up to the processing of personal medical data from large cardiological device producers. Based on a real-world attacker model, we evaluated different devices and found several severe vulnerabilities. Furthermore, we could purchase a fully functional programmer for implantable cardiological devices, allowing us to re-program such devices or even induce electric shocks on untampered implanted devices. Additionally, we sent several Art. 15 and Art. 20 GDPR inquiries to manufacturers of implantable cardiologic devices, revealing non-conforming processes and a lack of awareness about patients’ rights and companies’ obligations. This, and the fact that many vulnerabilities are still to be found after many vulnerability disclosures in recent years, present a worrying security state of the whole ecosystem.
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https://doi.org/10.1145/3465481.3465753

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Author:Endres Puschner, Christoph Saatjohann, Markus Willing, Christian Dresen, Julia Köbe, Benjamin Rath, Christof Paar, Lars Eckardt, Uwe Haverkamp, Sebastian Schinzel
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/3465481.3465753
Parent Title (English):ARES 2021: The 16th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security
Document Type:Conference Proceeding
Language:English
Date of Publication (online):2021/08/17
Year of first Publication:2021
Provider of the Publication Server:FH Münster - University of Applied Sciences
Release Date:2021/08/18
Faculties:Elektrotechnik und Informatik (ETI)
Publication list:Schinzel, Sebastian
Saatjohann, Christoph
Dresen, Christian
Licence (German):License LogoZweitveroeffentlichung