A new cybersecurity center wants to protect medical devices against hacks

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Close-up of insulin pump with tubing being charged on desktop.
Photo Illustration by Matt Harbicht / Getty Images for Tandem Diabetes Care

It’s been around 10 years since security researcher Jay Radcliffe got up onstage at a conference and demonstrated that he was able to hack into his own insulin pump. If he’d wanted, he could have used the pump to deliver a lethal dose of the drug into his system. Instead, he demanded that medical companies take the security threat seriously.

That presentation and others like it were wake-up calls about the potential danger of connecting vulnerable medical devices to the internet, says Mike Johnson, a securities technologies expert at the University of Minnesota’s Technological Leadership Institute.

In the decade since, there’s been an explosion in the number of connected medical devices — drug infusion pumps, pacemakers, monitors — that...

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