I realize many of these points are pointed out in the article, and I will be repeating them here for those of you who didn't read it:
There are several types of wireless communication built into my pump (A Minimed 722 with a CGMS sensor):
1.) Sensor (inserted elsewhere into body) sends current glucose level to pump
- Requires the sensor serial to be entered into the pump
- If hacked, would report a false glucose level to the pump. The pump NEVER acts on it's own, it only informs you of what the level is, so no danger. Also, for any treatment you are supposed to double check the level with a finger-poke as below.
- Also, if a level is reported that is out-of-pattern with the rest of values that the pump has been receiving, the pump assumes that the sensor is out of calibration or failing, and has you re-calibrate the sensor with a finger-poke.
2.) Meter (regular old finger-pokes) sends current glucose to monitor
- Requires meter serial to be entered into the pump.
- If hacked, the meter and the pump would show different numbers, making the manipulation obvious. Also, if someone randomly started sending values to my pump, I would know due to the fact that I wasn't currently checking my glucose.
3.) Remote sends instructions to deliver insulin
- Requires remote serial to be entered into pump
- Pump still vibrates/beeps to confirm delivery and dosage. Not exactly discrete.
- I'm not sure what other safeguards this has. I don't use it. I do know that if you don't have any serial numbers entered, it turns this feature off.
4.) USB Device gathers reports/programs pump
- Requires pump serial to be entered into computer.
- The 'USB Device' mentioned in the article is almost certainly a Carelink USB Upload device, used to upload data from the pump to a computer for gathering reports on glucose trends, patterns, other ways to fine-tune your treatment.
- I do know that these CAN be used to upload new settings to the pump, as I've seen them do it at my doctor's office.
- User software doesn't feature upload capability, so hackers would need to steal a copy of the 'pro' software from a doctor's office (additional security through obscurity?)
Of the four, the last two are the only ones that could alter insulin delivery, and the last one is the only one that would do it without notifying the user. You would have to develop a profile that had a high basal rate (background, continuous insulin delivery). Again, you would still need to get the serial number off the pump to initiate the upload.