Flaw in COVID-19 Testing Gadget Could’ve Been Exploited to Change Results


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A now-mounted Bluetooth vulnerability in a house COVID-19 tests gadget could have been exploited to phony take a look at benefits.

Protection research business WithSecure announced the news Thursday morning with Cue Well being, the device seller that patched the flaw. Ken Gannon, a researcher with the company-infosec arm of WithSecure, observed that by eavesdropping on Bluetooth transmissions from Cue’s handheld reader device to its Android app, he could recognize hexadecimal sequences that corresponded by examination knowledge, then rewrite them in a way the application acknowledged as legit. 

“I was in a position to transform my detrimental test consequence to a favourable by intercepting and changing the data as it was transmitted from Cue’s reader to the cell app on my telephone,” Gannon claims. “The procedure is in essence the very same for modifying a positive outcome to unfavorable, which could result in troubles if an individual who knows how to do what I did decides to begin falsifying effects.”

cue health reader

WithSecure says Cue “responded promptly” to shut the vulnerability and did not know of any faked exam benefits outdoors individuals Gannon noted.

“The reliability and safety of our engineering is of the utmost value to our organization and we recognize the WithSecure team’s collaboration,” suggests Vimal Subramanian, VP of information and facts stability and privacy at Cue Health, in a statement.

A 2nd technological document shared in progress by WithSecure (with documentation published on GitHub) says Cue’s deal with involves server-side checks but also advises that Cue consumers update their cellular applications to the present version—1.7.2 for Android and 1.7.1 for iOS—which will then prompt them to update the Cue device’s firmware.

San Diego-centered Cue’s system—promoted in a Tremendous Bowl ad this March—consists of a $249 handheld reader that with a COVID-19 test cartridge (a three-pack sells for for $195) performs molecular nucleic acid amplification tests, a more sensitive look at than the reagent quick exams the federal government started providing absent this wintertime.

Cue states a “NAAT” check like people in its kit “combines the diagnostic accuracy of a central lab with the pace and comfort of an at-dwelling check.” 

Scientists have observed that for checking somebody’s infectiousness, typical reagent tests works superior. But low cost at-residence tests don’t qualify beneath the Facilities for Illness Control’s need that Us residents take a look at detrimental before flying dwelling from outdoors the US only skillfully-operate checks or app-assisted exam kits will do.

This most up-to-date episode of problematic IoT safety would have been just one way to evade that necessity. But as I have understood above 3 transatlantic journeys since last summer season, most recently returning in early March from MWC Barcelona, check-in counter brokers may possibly not examine PDFs of negative take a look at final results all that intently. 

By lita