ZDNET reports on critical medical equipment, such as CT and MRI machines, being targets of cyber attacks:

Now, researchers from Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba, Israel, have issued a new report warning medical professionals that this issue is not being taken as seriously as it should — especially as vulnerable devices can place patient health, and potentially lives at risk.

The report (.PDF), published earlier this month, explores how Medical Imaging Devices (MIDs), such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or Computed Tomography (CT) systems are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks.

These devices are commonly connected to hospital networks, and with this connectivity, an avenue is carved for cyberattackers to exploit vulnerabilities in outdated firmware.

Vulnerable MIDs may result in attacks which “target the devices’ infrastructure and components, which can disrupt digital patient records, and potentially jeopardize patients’ health,” according to the researchers.

The team believes that attacks on MIDs are going to increase as vulnerabilities are uncovered in more and more medical devices, and as we’ve already seen, attackers have no qualms when it comes to targeting hospitals.

Essentially, if a device is connected to the network, it is ripe for exploitation by tenacious attackers. The medical industry does not update firmware on its equipment as often as some other industries, and this could lead to potentially unpatched security vulnerabilities used as a vector for breaching hospital networks and more.