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Health Canada warns diabetics some insulin pumps at risk for cyberattacks

Last Updated Jun 30, 2019 at 3:36 pm PDT

FILE - In this April 18, 2017 file photo, a woman with Type 2 diabetes prepares to inject herself with insulin at her home in Las Vegas. The skyrocketing price of insulin has some diabetics scrambling to cover the cost of the life-saving medication. Others are skipping doses or using smaller amounts than needed, and sometimes landing in the ER, patients and advocates told Congress in April 2019. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Health Canada is warning diabetics and health-care providers that some insulin pumps could be susceptible to cyberattacks.

The health agency released a statement Saturday that says the affected models distributed between 2010 and 2015 are at risk.

The statement says 2,620 of Medtronic MiniMed 508 and MiniMed Paradigm pumps have been sold in Canada.

Health Canada says there are no concerns with how the device functions, but they are vulnerable to attacks that could affect operations.

The agency says cyberattacks could affect the device’s settings which could result in an incorrect dose of insulin, but the agency is not aware of such incidents occurring.

Diabetics with affected pumps are being asked to continue using the devices as the risk for attacks is low, but they should contact their health-care provider about switching to a newer model that has increased cybersecurity protection.

According to Health Canada, the device manufacturer, Medtronic, says the settings can be changed if the cyberattacker knows the serial number of the pump and can connect wirelessly or if they have radio frequency equipment.

The Food and Drug Administration also issued an alert on Thursday about the pumps sold in the U.S.

Metronic says they were alerted to the cyberattack risks from external security researchers.

 

The Canadian Press