Possibly fatal software bug in the Tandem Diabetes Care app

This time it was a mistake…

As our world becomes overrun by smart devices, the risk of a software bug or virus causing loss of life is growing rapidly. While losing control of your identity, money or data due to a hack is certainly terrifying, it doesn’t compare to the terrifying effects of a hack that targets something you rely on to survive. The iOS app from Tandem Diabetes Care, which controls implanted insulin pumps, is unfortunately an example of this possibility.

The FDA was forced to recall the product after more than 200 app users were injured when their pumps stopped working properly. The app may crash and when it does, it will restart immediately; it would be nice if the restart loop didn’t significantly drain the pump battery. This led to people thinking they had received the full dose of insulin when in fact they had not.

In this case, it was an unintentional mistake, but it highlights the problems that could be caused by a bad actor actively attacking these types of devices. If you know someone who uses the t:connect Apple iOS mobile app with the t:slim X2 insulin pump with Control-IQ technology, please make sure they are aware of this issue.