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Computer software alters cancer scans, fools doctors

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(CBS 58) – Cyber-security researchers in Israel have developed malicious software that can alter cancer scans.

The research team from Ben-Gurion University created the software to show how easy it can be to get around medical equipment security.

The team changed 70 images of MRI and CT lung scans by adding or removing tumors. The altered scans fooled three radiologists and automated screening systems.

Researchers say the software could also produce other fake conditions like blood clots or fractures.

“Part of the outcomes of this research we actually found how poor the security is inside hospitals and medical organizations,” Ben-Gurion University Cyber Security Lab researcher Yisroel Mirsky said. “As a first step regardless of this particular attack rector, hospitals have to try their best to secure the communications that are happening over their internal networks.”

Mirsky is advising hospitals to look at the way they protect their networks and to use encryption and digital signatures.

The team is also working with the U.S. FDA to improve medical device security.

More information can be found on the research team can be found here.

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