mHealth Security Flaws Pose Risks to Users

Fitness apps are security risks.

Some of the most popular mobile health apps have “critical” security flaws, which can lead to confidentiality issues for patients and medical professionals, as well as safety issues regarding data integrity, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Dortmund in Germany assessed 53 apps taken from lists of the top 10 downloaded free apps in 3 countries. They found that 40% had pressing vulnerabilities.

Some security risks could have “severe implications,” Friedrich said, including identify theft, password hijacking, and the loss of sensitive information.“The attacker can get full access to the smartphone, if the systems are not patched,” he said. “This is especially problematic, as some devices, after a short marketing time, do not get security fixes.”

Friedrich said that his team analyzed 1 app that had a vulnerability that would allow an attacker to send prescription information from the doctor to the pharmacy, enabling the procurement of drugs with manipulated or duplicated prescriptions.

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