May 17, 2020

Amazon looks to disrupt the competitive pharma market

Catherine Sturman
2 min
With the recent acquisition of Whole Foods, it has been reported that Amazon is looking towards the pharma market

With pharmaceuticals becoming a multi...

With the recent acquisition of Whole Foods, it has been reported that Amazon is looking towards the pharma market

With pharmaceuticals becoming a multi-million-dollar industry, Amazon is now looking at ways to expand its services further through developing markets. The pharma market is predicted to reach $1.12 trillion by 2022, something which Amazon would be foolhardy to ignore.

 The recent news that the company has recently hired Box Healthcare Vice President and Managing Director Missy Krasner, signifies Amazon’s interest within the healthcare space, and its current investments in cloud products and services to further advance the healthcare industry.

Since May, Amazon has been selling medical products in areas such as Japan, alongside investing in new technologies such as Google Alexa, which will support patients from home. This is in addition to Amazon’s investment in drone technologies, which could drop pharmaceuticals directly to the patient’s home.

The recent acquisition of health food company Whole Foods even sent Walgreens and CVS Health stock prices falling by over three percent.

However, Amazon faces an uphill battle, with strong regulations to overcome within the industry, as well as PBMs and insurers. However, if the company is able to overcome these challenges, it is sure to grow rapidly. A strong distribution network will further see Amazon grow its market reach within ecommerce and create further competition in terms of drug pricing.

Tech companies are increasingly moving into, and undertaking significant investments in health technologies. Whilst Google has been looking at new innovative ways to provide patient-centred healthcare technologies, and even transportation company Uber has been hiring workers to collaborate with healthcare specialists in two new programmes.




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Jun 17, 2021

Peloton vulnerable to cyber attacks, McAfee research finds

2 min
​​​​​​​Software security experts McAfee discovered exercise bikes by Peloton are vulnerable to cyber attacks, which the company have since resolved 

Peloton, the popular exercise bikes, were found to be vulnerable to cyber attacks in the latest research from McAfee. 

Peloton is a brand of electric bikes that combines high end exercise equipment with cutting-edge technology. Its products use wi fi to connect to a large tablet that interfaces with the components of the exercise device, and provides an easy way for physical activity enthusiasts to attend virtual workout classes over the internet several times a week.

Peloton has garnered attention recently around the privacy and security of its products. So McAfee decided to take a look for themselves and purchased a Peloton Bike+.

The problem

Researchers looked at the Android devices and uncovered a vulnerability  that could allow an attacker with either physical access to the Bike+ or access during any point in the supply chain to gain to hack into the bike’s tablet, including the camera, microphone and personal data. 

For the person using it there would be no indication the Bike+ has been tampered with, potentially putting Peloton’s 16.7 million users at risk.  

The flaw was found in the Android Verified Boot (AVB) process. McAfee researchers were able to bypass the Android Verified Boot process, which normally verifies all code and data before booting. They were then able to get the device to boot bypassing this step. 

This could potentially lead to the Android OS being compromised by an attacker who is physically present. Even worse, the attacker could boot up the Peloton with a modified credential to gain privileges, granting them access to the bike remotely. 

As the attacker never has to unlock the device to boot it up, there would be no trace of their access on the device. This type of attack could also happen at any point from construction to warehouse to delivery, by installing a backdoor into the Android tablet without the user ever knowing. 

The solution

Given the simplicity and criticality of the flaw, McAfee informed Peloton while auditing was ongoing. The vendor was sent full details,  and shortly after, Peloton confirmed the issue and released a fix for it. 

Further conversations between McAfee and  Peloton confirmed that this vulnerability had also been present on the Peloton Tread exercise equipment. 

Peloton’s Head of Global Information Security Adrian Stone, commented on the research: “This vulnerability reported by McAfee would require direct, physical access to a Peloton Bike+ or Tread. Like with any connected device in the home, if an attacker is able to gain physical access to it, additional physical controls and safeguards become increasingly important.

"To keep our members safe, we acted quickly and in coordination with McAfee. We pushed a mandatory update in early June and every device with the update installed is protected from this issue.”

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