Cybersecurity

By Ahmed El Sherif 09:00 am June 19, 2020
Bahrain and Kuwait are using their COVID-19 contact tracing apps as mass surveillance tools, it has emerged. According to a new report released by Amnesty International, the two Gulf states, along with Norway, have released “some of the most invasive COVID-19 contact tracing apps around the world, putting the privacy and security of hundreds of thousands of people at risk.” In its investigation,...

Credit: Babylon Health

By Tammy Lovell 05:43 am June 10, 2020
London-based digital firm Babylon Health has admitted that a data breach occurred that allowed a patient to access recordings of another patient’s consultation via the GP at Hand app. The app, which has more than 2.3 million UK users, allows members to book medical appointments, access a triage chatbot and have consultations with NHS doctors via smartphone video call.  A Babylon spokesperson says...

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

By Laura Lovett 03:12 pm June 8, 2020
Scores of startups, health systems and even governments have scrambled to address COVID-19 by creating new digital tools for patients. However, these tools may have some gaps when it comes to securing users' privacy data, according to a report by newly formed group the International Digital Accountability Council (IDAC).  The organization, which is made up of lawyers, technologists and privacy...
By Laura Lovett 03:01 pm June 2, 2020
As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, consumers are turning to ecommerce as a way to purchase everything from groceries to prescription medications. Now so-called “shadow pharmacies” are seeking to take advantage of pandemic fears and spending by claiming to sell unconfirmed coronavirus treatments without a prescription, according to a Babel Street report.  “As consumers make the shift to online...
By Dave Muoio 02:04 pm June 2, 2020
A large portion of COVID-19 apps available in the Google Play Store ask users for advanced access permissions, but very few indicate to users that collected data will be made anonymous and secured, according to an analysis of 50 such apps published recently in Nature Medicine. The investigation – conducted by two researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Illinois...
By Laura Lovett 03:54 pm May 27, 2020
The government of Qatar’s mandatory COVID-19-tracing app has come into question after an Amnesty International investigation exposed a weakness in its configuration that could have left it open for cyberattacks.  Once the vulnerability was flagged, authorities in Qatar updated and fixed the issue within a day, according to Amnesty International. However, if there had been an attack, it was...
By Dave Muoio 11:56 am March 4, 2020
The FDA is warning of new cybersecurity vulnerabilities affecting Bluetooth Low Energy communications technology used in certain medical devices. According to the agency, the issue could allow unauthorized users to wirelessly crash a device, prevent it from working or access functions limited to its users. The FDA says the vulnerabilities – referred to as "SweynTooth" by the researchers who...
By Laura Lovett 03:36 pm March 2, 2020
In mid-January an error in the Walgreens app led to the leak of customers' secure messages. Specifically, the error allowed customers to see each other's information, including personal data such as names and prescription drug information.  The company announced the breach late last week, assuring customers that following the breach it disabled the message viewing feature in the app “to prevent...