Drug-resistant bacteria aren’t the only pernicious bugs that hospitals need to worry about.  MIT’s Technology Review reports that hospitals’ computerized equipment—such as patient monitoring systems, MRI scanners,  and nuclear medicine systems—is dangerously vulnerable to malware, and many systems are in fact heavily infected with viruses.

That’s because many of these systems run on older versions of Windows—such as Windows 2000. Medical equipment manufacturers often won’t support security patches or operating system upgrades for their systems, largely out of concern about whether such changes would require them to resubmit their systems to the Food and Drug Administration for certification.

The scope of the problem was the topic of a panel discussion (PDF) at a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board on October 11. Mark Olson, the Chief Information Security Officer at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, told attendees that malware had infected fetal monitors in his hospital’s high-risk pregnancy ward, to the point where they were so slow they couldn’t properly record data.

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via Ars Technica » Technology Lab http://feeds.arstechnica.com/~r/arstechnica/technology-lab/~3/YQroNEeEpqw/