May 17, 2020

Xbox Kinect introduced to the healthcare sector

Xbox 360
2 min
Xbox Kinect Console
Microsofts Xbox 360 and its Kinect accessory is being credited as a new life saving tool for doctors. Doctors at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre...

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and its Kinect accessory is being credited as a new life saving tool for doctors.

Doctors at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Canada have started to use the Kinect to try and eliminate hygiene problems that are common in operating theatres.

The revolutionary wireless control means that doctors can view patient notes or scans without having to touch surfaces that are infected with bacteria, such as a computer mouse or keyboard.


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Denise Amrich, a nurse and health care advisor for the U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute, wrote on a blogging site: “The problem is that doctors sometimes have to step in and out of the sterile field to gather additional information on the state of a patient in surgery.”

This means doctors continually have to wash and disinfect their hands, which increases the duration of procedures.

However, the Sunnybrook Centre has been able to eradicate these problems, using a Kinect program that has been specifically designed for medical use by a team of hospital engineers.

Dr Calvin Law, a Sunnybrook liver cancer surgeon, said: “We're able to bring that computer as if it was the last member of our team, into the working field of the operating room.”

This comes after Microsoft's chief research and strategy officer, Craig Mundie, told a medical conference last month that its Xbox Kinect technology had the potential to revolutionise the delivery of healthcare.

He predicted that in the future patients would be able to attend group therapy sessions under the guise of an avatar to provide anonymity.

However, he added the Kinect technology would be used to mirror patients’ movements and expressions, enabling doctors to treat them as they normally would and spot signs of depression. 

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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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