Insulin pump user and hacker Jay Radcliffe will face off with Michael McNeil, chief privacy and security officer for Medtronic, as they share the stage today on a panel at the Amphion Forum, a computer security conference, according to Bloomberg. Radcliffe famously demonstrated the vulnerability of a Medtronic insulin pump to hacking during a security presentation last year and went on to publicly criticize the major medical device manufacturer for its reluctance to validate his research and discuss its products' security vulnerabilities.
“It’s a very big shift,” Radcliffe, a diabetic and computer security professional from Idaho, told Bloomberg. “If you would have asked me ten months ago if I’d be on stage with them at a security conference, shaking hands and saying we’re working together to make medical devices safe, I would have laughed. I would have said that’s an impossible thing.”
This panel participation on the part of Medtronic is an interesting move by the medical device powerhouse. Thus far, the company has dealt with the negative publicity primarily by confirming efforts dedicated to evaluating security vulnerabilities while keeping relatively tight lipped on what that entails and avoiding public discourse. The panel participation marks Medtronic's move out into the open, however, and will hopefully shed some light on how it plans to address implant security now and in the future. --Shana Leonard
Read more about medical device hacking and security in MPMN's archives:
- Federal Scrutiny of Implant Hacking Continues: Is Increased Regulation on the Horizon?
- Device Hacking: Medtronic, Others 'Lacked Foresight
- Mitigating Risk in Software-Controlled Devices
- Preventing Medical Device Hacking, a Nightmare in the Making
- Software: The Brains Behind the Medical Device
- Securing Change for Implants