Data stored on CD media show vulnerability to alteration

in Feb 08, I blog about the need for more standard CD-ROMS as the current pratice / standards is crippling reporting clinican’s workflow, I reckon this piece will hightlight more issues with the media.

A study from Denmark reveals that data on the disc are not well-protected either and are vulnerable to easy alteration. “Identification information such as patient name, age, institute name, and date of imaging can be readily altered on DICOM files exported by CD media”

Now don’t get me wrong, this is not exactly something ‘new’, think about it, when you burn a document to a CD and you make changes to it, the changes are added onto the disk. While the original files are not altered, they are no longer reflected when you ‘launch’ the CD. Right 🙂

The article suggested potential solutions like;

  • Attaching disclaimers to the discs and specify intended use of such media
    (e.g. That the discs are for reference only and are not to be used for diagnostic purposes)
  • Encryption of patient data is possible

Personally, I have a suggestion too, when ‘burning’ the data to the CD, set it to no multiple writes (meaning you cannot add new data to the disc, even if there are still disc space.

While these are potential workarounds, I reckon a proper fix to the solution is needed, or, don’t use CD-ROMS.

About Adam Chee

Health Informatician
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