The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned hospitals that the Hospira I.V. pumps could enable Internet hackers to take control of the pumps from a remote location.
The Department of Homeland Security has also warned hospitals about this danger and advised all hospitals and other health care facilities to discontinue the use of the Hospira Symbiq pumps. They have the potential for someone operating from a remote location to change the amount of medication a patient receives. There have not been any actual incidences like this yet.
Last week Fiat Chrysler announced the recall of 1.4 million American vehicles to install special software to prevent hackers from remotely controlling engines, steering, and other systems.
Hospira is currently communicating with customers at the locations where Symbiq is still being used.
The FDA has advised health-care facilities to begin transitioning to alternative infusion pumps as soon as possible. But many are still in use and if they were to get hacked it could be catastrophic for patients.
The FDA discovered the risk for hacking when an independent researcher contacted them and reported the glitch. The pumps can be accessed through the hospital's wireless networks.
Although these pumps are no longer made by Hospira, they are still in us in hospitals, nursing homes and other health-care facilities nationwide.
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