1/24/2020
10:50 AM
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb

GE Medical Instrumentation on the Critical List

DHS-CISA has issued a security advisory about GE Carescape medical instrumentation that enumerates many vulnerabilities present in them.



DHS-CISA has issued a security advisoryabout GE Carescape medical instrumentation that enumerates many vulnerabilities present in them.

The instrumentation affected are CARESCAPE Telemetry Server, ApexPro Telemetry Server, CARESCAPE Central Station (CSCS) and Clinical Information Center (CIC) systems, CARESCAPE B450, B650, and B850 Monitors.

DHS’s list of vulnerabilities includes “Unprotected Storage of Credentials, Improper Input Validation, Use of Hard-coded Credentials, Missing Authentication for Critical Function, Unrestricted Upload of File with Dangerous Type, Inadequate Encryption Strength.” Serious stuff, all.

Five of the vulnerabilities are 10 out of 10 on the criticality scale.

Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities could occur when an attacker gains access to the mission critical (MC) and/or information exchange (IX) networks due to improper configuration or physical access to devices. An exploit could result in a loss of monitoring and/or loss of alarms during active patient monitoring. These vulnerabilities, if exploited, may allow an attacker to obtain PHI data, make changes at the operating system level of the device, with effects such as rendering the device unusable, otherwise interfering with the function of the device and/or making certain changes to alarm settings on connected patient monitors, and/or utilizing services used for remote viewing and control of devices on the network to access the clinical user interface and make changes to device settings and alarm limits, which could result in missed or unnecessary alarms or silencing of some alarms.

The problem was discovered by Elad Luz, head of research at CyberMDX, when CyberMDX carried out an investigation into the CIC Pro device.

The CIC Pro is a workstation used by the hospital staff to view all patient physiological data and waveforms, together with patient demographic data, in real time from a single visual array. This data is transmitted from different patient-side monitors and collected via a shared network.

They found six vulnerabilities they call MDhex (CVE-2020-6961, CVE-2020-6962, CVE-2020-6963, CVE-2020-6964, CVE-2020-6965, and CVE-2020-6966), which are the ones covered in the DHS security advisory.

MDX says that GE will be reaching out to its customers about all of this, but each vulnerability has its own mitigation routine. GE has said it is not aware of any exploitation of them in the wild.

— Larry Loeb has written for many of the last century's major "dead tree" computer magazines, having been, among other things, a consulting editor for BYTE magazine and senior editor for the launch of WebWeek.

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