Academy & Industry Research Collaboration Center (AIRCC)

Volume 9, Number 17, December 2019

Protecting Legacy Mobile Medical Devices Using A Wearable Security Device


Vahab Pournaghshband1 and Peter Reiher2, 1University of San Francisco, USA and 2University of California, USA


The market is currently sated with mobile medical devices and new technology is continuously emerging. Thus, it is costly, and in some cases impractical, to replace these devices for new ones with greater security. In this paper, we present the implementation of a prototype for Personal Security Device—a self-contained, specialized wearable device that augments security to existing mobile medical devices. The main research challenge for, and hence the state of the art of, the proposed hardware design is that the device, to work with legacy devices, must require no changes to either the medical device or its monitoring software. This requirement is essential since we aim to protect already existing devices, as making modifications to the device or its proprietary software often impossible or impractical (e.g., closed source executables and implantable medical devices). Through performance evaluation of this prototype, we confirmed the feasibility of having a special-purpose hardware with limited computational and memory resources to perform necessary security operations.


Wireless medical device security, Man-in-the-middle attack