Israeli cyber security experts created malware that can alter CT scans to indicate a healthy patient has cancer, and a sick patient is healthy according to The Washington Post .
Researcher at the University Cyber Security Research Center said they created malware to highlight the vulnerabilities of critical medical imaging equipment and the networks that transmit these images to cyber attack.
One of the researchers, Yisroel Mirsky, told Post that hospitals are vulnerable to the attacks because they tend to be more concerned about protecting data shared between hospitals and with other doctors. and ignores "what's happening within the health system itself."
To prevent malware from changing CT and MRI scans, hospitals must install end-to-end encryption across its image archiving and communication system networks. Hospitals must also digitally sign all images according to Post .
Studies have shown that malware-infested CT scans are an immediate threat. In a blind study involving real CT lung scans, 70 of them were altered by malware. Three skilled radiologists were tricked into misdiagnosis almost every time, reported.
After radiologists were told, scans were made by malware and got another set of scans, they were still fooled 60 percent of the time. In scans that removed cancer nodes, radiologists failed to diagnose the sick patients who are 87% of the time.
Although these studies focused on lung cancer scans, malware can attack CT scans for brain tumors, heart disease, blood clots, back injuries, bone fractures, ligament injuries, and arthritis.
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