Security Fixes Kill Hospital Patients

2015 ‘security fixes’ on computers resulted in 34 to 45 more deaths per 1,000 heart attack patients

From another article in Dark Reading. The data is old (most recent from year 2015) and updated data should be collected because we learn and change how we deal with security breaches. The underlying reason however seems very timely: clinicians trying to use hospital computer systems after a vulnerability is “fixed” face radical problems getting access to care for patients, and as a result more patients die due to the security “fix” preventing timely care. In medical terms, we would say “The cure is worse than the disease.”

Healthcare IT systems may show that shock in slower and more disruptive change than those in other industries because they start from a relatively weakened position security-wise. “For the most part the healthcare industry, and especially the providers, has been a laggard for information security,” says Larry Ponemon, founder and chairman of the Ponemon Institute.

When hospitals respond to a breach, the response tends to have a major impact on their legitimate users. According to Choi’s research, “new access and authentication procedures, new protocols, new software after any breach incident is likely to disrupt clinicians.”

That disruption is where the patient is affected, through inaccurate or delayed information reaching the people caring for them. And how much, in blunt terms, can that effect be? The study says an additional 34- to 45 deaths per 1,000 heart attack discharges every year.

Read the article at https://www.darkreading.com/endpoint/privacy/fixing-hacks-has-deadly-impact-on-hospitals/d/d-id/1331386. I had a link to the study here also, but the link goes to a “registration” web site. You can follow that link in the Dark Reading article if you so desire.


Dark Reading was good today

Dark Reading was good today. Several interesting tid bits. Suggest that you check it out at http://www.darkreading.com/

Accused LinkedIn, DropBox Hacker Appears in US Court After Diplomatic Battle

In the Czech Republic since October 2016, Yevgeniy Nikulin had requested asylum there after warrants for his arrest were issued by both Russia and the US. The Czech government denied his bid for asylum and turned him over the US, where he appeared in a federal courtroom on Friday morning.

Nikulin, the Russian hacker accused of being responsible for breaching DropBox and the 2012 LinkedIn attack that saw 117 million passwords stolen, has been extradited to the US in a process that has implications for the larger relationship between the US and Russia.  https://www.darkreading.com/attacks-breaches/accused-linkedin-dropbox-hacker-appears-in-us-court-after-diplomatic-battle/d/d-id/1331413

The Cybersecurity Mandates Keep On Coming

With threats more complex than ever, and with more data to protect and more technologies touching that data, more cyber regulation is bound to happen. The questions are How can a company possibly keep up, and Are we safely in compliance? https://www.darkreading.com/risk/compliance/the-cybersecurity-mandates-keep-on-coming/a/d-id/1331366

Microsoft Rushes Out Fix for Major Hole Caused by Previous Meltdown Patch

While fixing an obscure potential vulnerability, they created a real hack vector! Don’t cha jus’ luv high tech?

Chris Goetti, director of product management at Ivanti, says … “When Microsoft issued a fix for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008, they made a mistake and ended up opening up read and write access in RAM so anybody could access anything in memory and write to it,”

Cautions Jack Danahy, CTO and co-founder of Barkly. “This is an easy-to-exploit zero-day vulnerability and a much more probable attack vector that the original problem that Microsoft was trying to correct. … Microsoft accidentally distributed a new zero-day vulnerability of their own design.”

Microsoft has rushed out an out-of-cycle security patch to address problems created by what were supposed to be fixes for the Meltdown vulnerability that it had previously issued for 64-bit Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 systems. https://www.darkreading.com/attacks-breaches/microsoft-rushes-out-fix-for-major-hole-caused-by-previous-meltdown-patch/d/d-id/1331415#


Drupal core bug allows remote code execution

This just arrived in email from wordfence.com. If you use Drupal or know someone who does, the Drupal patches need to be applied immediately to prevent / stop remote code execution attacks.

A more detailed overview of upgrade recommendations from the Drupal security team is available on Drupal.org. They have also published a detailed FAQ. This attack has been nicknamed “Drupalgeddon 2.” The previous Drupalgeddon was as high in severity as this, and had automated attacks against unpatched Drupal sites within a matter of hours after the public announcement of the vulnerability was made.

—<snip>—

This morning we are publishing a public service announcement about a severe Drupal core remote code execution vulnerability announced yesterday. If you use Drupal or know someone who does, I’d encourage you to read this post and spread the word.
The vulnerability allows an attacker, leveraging multiple attack vectors, to take complete control of a website. The Drupal team estimates that at the time of the announcement over 1 million sites are affected, about 9% of Drupal sites.
Our focus is usually WordPress security, but given the severity and wide impact of this vulnerability, we feel it justifies a PSA to help spread the word.
Regards,
Mark Maunder
Defiant Inc CEO
—<snip>—