Date of Award

9-2015

Degree Name

MS in Computer Science

Department

Computer Science

Advisor

Zachary N J Peterson

Abstract

Historically Implantable Medical Devices (IMDs) such as pacemakers have only been able to communicate to external devices through close proximity means of communication, primarily through inductive telemetry. Because of the unlikelihood of an adversary being able to gain access to an IMD through this type of communication, these devices were never designed with security in mind. However the recent advent of IMDs that are equipped with long-range wireless capabilities has made it necessary to consider how to secure these devices from malicious attacks.

This work presents an implementation of prior work that developed a theoretical security model whose specific intent was to secure IMDs with long-range wireless capabilities against both passive and active adversaries, while also ensuring the safety of the patient. This implementation is known as the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Cloaker model and provides a prototype system that uses BLE as the long-range communication medium between an emulated IMD, an external programmer, and the BLE Cloaker device itself. The BLE Cloaker acts as a secure data proxy between the IMD and the external programmer. This prototype shows the benefits and drawbacks of this theoretical model when used in a real world system as well as the security strengths and weaknesses of using BLE as the wireless link in a medical application.

Available for download on Wednesday, September 26, 2018

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