A dual-layer context-based architecture for the detection of anomalous instructions sent to medical devices

Tom Mahler, Erez Shalom, Yuval Elovici, Yuval Shahar

Artificial Intelligence in Medicine 123, 102229, 2022

Complex medical devices are controlled by instructions sent from a host personal computer (PC) to the device. Anomalous instructions can introduce many potentially harmful threats to patients (e.g., radiation overexposure), to physical device components (e.g., manipulation of device motors), or to functionality (e.g., manipulation of medical images). Threats can occur due to cyber-attacks, human error (e.g., using the wrong protocol, or misconfiguring the protocol’s parameters by a technician), or host PC software bugs. Thus, anomalous instructions might represent an intentional threat to the patient or to the device, a human error, or simply a non-optimal operation of the device.To protect medical devices, we propose a new dual-layer architecture. The architecture analyzes the instructions sent from the host PC to the physical components of the device, to detect anomalous instructions using two detection layers: (1 …