Attack Type


Layer Affected

Device Communication Attacks

Highly proficient attacks performed by experienced hackers who have the ability to create their own structured attacks, which target communication protocols in mHealth devices.

Application layer

Middle-ware layer

Reconnaissance Attacks

Administrators can easily overlook these types of attacks owing to the specific form this particular attack takes when penetrating the network. Reconnaissance attacks make noises that are commonly heard, thus making them difficult to detect. Attacks are often performed by hackers for the purpose of acquiring information and then launching a denial of service attack to cover any trace of the attack.

Sensory layer

Resource Depletion (RD) Attacks

RD attacks dissipate resources of mHealth devices e.g. storage, battery and bandwidth. For example, an insulin pump depends on the wireless glucose sensor to give an accurate dose of insulin to a diabetes patient, and if these devices were attacked, it could be fatal for patients as attackers could regulate the administration of insulin.

Middle-ware layer

Replay Attacks

Attackers use replay attacks to manipulate sensor readings to force users to make wrong decisions. For example, hackers can exploit the communication of the sensor that shows a high glucose level was administered to patient according to supplementary knowledge regarding the victim, but later the attack could retransmit the information that pretends to be accurate information. High administration may show up on the system, but in reality, the patient may have never been administered their insulin.

Sensory layer

External Device

Mis-Bonding (DMB) Attacks

DMB attacks target the mobile gateway running the device platform. The platform is connected to smartphones on a network channel via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. As a result, any application that is able to access the platform via the communication channel could masquerade as an insider that can steal private information. This can be detrimental for patients who rely on health monitoring apps (e.g. heart monitoring and blood sugar levels) as they could be given inaccurate information regarding their current state of health, whilst having their personal information stolen.

Application layer

Middleware layer