May 17, 2020

Cloud computing reaches the healthcare industry

Cloud Computing
healthcare industry
communications
patien
Admin
2 min
Cloud computing
A London hospital is taking part in a pilot scheme which could revolutionise communications between doctors and patients. The Chelsea and Westminster H...

A London hospital is taking part in a pilot scheme which could revolutionise communications between doctors and patients.

The Chelsea and Westminster Hospital is testing cloud computing to see how it can act as an online health platform to provide shared access to patient files and information.

It is thought that integrating cloud computing into the healthcare system would speed up patient-doctor communications and give patients more control over who can access their records.

The pilot scheme is set to launch in July this year and comes after 18 months of development by Flexiant, a company which specialises in cloud computing.

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Flexiant have said that security will be paramount to the success of the project which will implement a multi-factor authentication process.

The hospital is also working closely with researchers at the Edinburgh Napier University to discuss how cloud computing will replace the traditional system of paper medical records.

Professor Bill Buchanan, from the University said that the current medical record system in the UK often meant that data was not shared effectively between patients and among healthcare professionals.

He said in an interview: “Our system allows for data to be stored with its context, such as where it was captured, and then used in whatever way is necessary through well-managed clinical services.”

Ultimately, the use of cloud computing is likely to empower patients as they will be able to exercise full control over who has access to their results.

They will be able to invite people they trust to view their results, individuals such as GP’s, carers and family members, those who need to know their results.

The project has been funded by the Technology Strategy Board and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

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Jun 17, 2021

Peloton vulnerable to cyber attacks, McAfee research finds

cyberattack
fitness
Cybersecurity
verification
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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