Surgical Robots and the Remote Surgery Hacking Threat

This sounds horrible but it could never happen in real life anyway, right? Wrong! Telesurgery is something that is already happening today, and while it is not all that common yet it’s likely that it will become more and more popular in the near future. The tech allows a doctor to perform surgery on a patient even though they are not physically in the same location. All in all a great thing, considering how many lives can be saved that way.

But how secure are those lifesaving robots when it comes to cyber threats? The answer to this question, presented in a recent research paper called „To Make a Robot Secure: An Experimental Analysis of Cyber Security Threats Against Teleoperated Surgical Robots”, is shocking. A team from the University of Washington identified a slew of possible cyber security threats.  They were also able to “maliciously control a wide range of robots functions, and even to completely ignore or override command inputs from the surgeon.” Just imagine a denial of service attack which is launched during a crucial point during surgery! It could be fatal to the patient.

Luckily a scenario like this has not happened yet – but would you feel comfortable being under the knife knowing some hacker could end your life just because he feels like starting a DDoS attack?

Read the rest of the article over here to find out what the team concluded and gain a deeper insight into the research paper.

PR & Social Media Manager @ Avira |Gamer. Geek. Tech addict.