Israeli cybersecurity researchers have created malware capable of showing fake cancerous growths on CT and MRI scans.
The malware, called CT-GAN, served as a proof of concept to show the potential for hacking medical devices with fake medical news that was convincing enough to fool medical technicians. In a video demonstrating the exploit, researchers at Ben Gurion University described how such an attack might be deployed.
“Attacker[s] can alter 3D medical scans to remove existing, or inject non-existing, medical conditions. An attacker may do this to remove a political candidate / leader, sabotage / falsify research, perform murder / terrorism, or hold data ransom for money.”
In a blind study, CT-GAN had a 99% success rate in deceiving radiologists with fake cancer nodules, and a 94% success rate in hiding actual cancer nodules.
Medical facilities are frequently targeted by hackers, due in part to their reliance on networking technologies and their archives of sensitive personal information. A recent study showed that 1 in 4 healthcare facilities were hit by ransomware in 2018 alone.
Click here to see the original report describing the malware findings.