According to MercuryNews.com, technologists monitoring the threat have determined that hundreds of medical devices used at hospitals throughout the country are infected by the computer worm known as “Conficker”. The infected devices include MRI machines and hundreds, if not thousands, of other medical devices. Manufacturer of the devices told investigators that “none of the machines were supposed to be connected to the Internet — and yet they were. And because the machines were running an unpatched version of Microsoft’s operating system used in embedded devices they were vulnerable,” states the report.
The report explains that “Conficker spreads by copying itself onto machines running Microsoft’s Windows operating system that lack the security patch from October. Conficker installs itself and periodically reaches out for directions from its maker that cause it to rewrite its code, increasing its capabilities for malicious action and decreasing its chance of detection.” Apparently, patients have not yet been harmed, but it is clear that these infected devices place patients at risk.
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