By Nicole Lewis
May 25, 2010
At a congressional hearing last week, Roger Baker, assistant secretary
for information and technology at the Department of Veterans Affairs,
said during the past 14 months more than 122 medical devices have been
compromised by malware.
Baker, who testified before the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, said one of the "critical
challenges" facing the department is protecting its medical devices from
"The major challenge with securing medical devices is that, because
their operation must be certified, the application of operating system
patches and malware protection updates is tightly restricted," Baker
said. "This inherent vulnerability can increase the potential for cyber
attacks on the VA trusted network by creating risk to patient safety,"
The VA defines a medical device as any device used in patient healthcare
for diagnoses, treatment, or monitoring, or that has gone through the
Food and Drug Administration's premarket review process. The VA is the
federal government's largest medical care provider and has more than
50,000 networked medical devices.
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