Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

7/15/2020
04:25 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Vulns in Open Source EHR Puts Patient Health Data at Risk

Five high-risk flaws in health IT software from LibreHealth, a researcher at Bishop Fox finds.

Security researchers from Bishop Fox have discovered several critical vulnerabilities in an emerging open source electronic health record (EHR) system from LibreHealth.

The vulnerabilities give unauthenticated attackers multiple ways to compromise the application's underlying server and gain access to sensitive patient health information and health records, security testing firm Bishop Fox said this week.

The vulnerabilities are present in LibreHealth EHR v2.0.0, an application that healthcare professionals can use to store and access a patient's health records electronically. Bishop Fox discovered the vulnerabilities in February and notified LibreHealth of the issues in March. Bishop Fox disclosed the flaws this week after LibreHealth released what the security firm described as "in-progress patches" for the bugs.

Chris Davis, security consultant at Bishop Fox, says there's no evidence that any of the vulnerabilities have been actively exploited yet. He describes the flaws as presenting a mixed bag from an ease-of-exploit standpoint. "Generally speaking, it's not a high bar for attackers to exploit these issues," Davis says. "The vulnerable software issues contains some known issues that have been around for a while and are well documented, making the likelihood of them being exploited in the wild higher." Davis says he doesn't know how many health records are potentially at risk from these vulnerabilities. 

In a blog post Tuesday, Davis said he had discovered a total of five high-risk flaws in LibreHealth EHR v2.0.0. They consisted of an SQL injection flaw leading to data disclosure; a local file inclusion error that could be used to break into the underlying server; a cross-site scripting error; and a cross-site request forgery issue that gave unauthenticated attackers a way to carry out a variety of attacks. In addition, the LibreHealth EHR app also contained multiple critical vulnerabilities that were inherited when the software was originally forked from the OpenEMR codebase.

The security of systems that are used to electronically store and deliver patient health information has become more important because of the increased use of telehealth services for most non-COVID-19-related health issues.

According to Davis, there has been a recent spike in interest in advisories that Bishop Fox has released in the past on vulnerabilities it has discovered in a variety of healthcare software products such as OpenEMR, SolisMed, Intersystems Cache, and OpenMRS. "All were affected by high-risk issues that could lead to patient data exposure," he says.

Since the beginning of the pandemic earlier this year, security vendors have noted a general increase in attacker interest not just in electronic health systems but in a variety of other services which have seen a recent surge in use. The most heavily targeted among them have been videoconferencing and other communication apps and tools.

Open Source Project
LibreHealth is part of Software Freedom Conservancy, a nonprofit group that helps promote the use of open source software. Several volunteer contributors from multiple open source health IT projects teamed up to form the LibreHealth community in November 2016. Some of the health IT projects that the founding members had previously worked on had thousands of installations worldwide, including within government agencies, nonprofits, and smaller organizations. A statement announcing the launch of LibreHealth described it as focused on building health IT software that would incorporate the best of previous projects.

LibreHealth EHR is one of three projects in which members of the community are currently involved. The other two are LibreHealth Radiology, for use by imaging and radiology professionals, and LibreHealth Toolkit, for creating other healthcare-related software.

Davis says that LibreHealth has not quite released a new version of the app that addresses all of the new identified vulnerabilities. "They've created some pulls in GitHub that address some of the issues but haven't yet merged these fixes into a complete merge and patched version," he says. "The vendor is in contact with us and is working toward the goal of an official patch."

Related Content:

 

 

Jai Vijayan is a seasoned technology reporter with over 20 years of experience in IT trade journalism. He was most recently a Senior Editor at Computerworld, where he covered information security and data privacy issues for the publication. Over the course of his 20-year ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
tdsan
50%
50%
tdsan,
User Rank: Ninja
7/16/2020 | 6:01:24 PM
Thank you for sharing this information, this is good.

Davis said he had discovered a total of five high-risk flaws in LibreHealth EHR v2.0.0. They consisted of an SQL injection flaw leading to data disclosure; a local file inclusion error that could be used to break into the underlying server; a cross-site scripting error; and a cross-site request forgery issue that gave unauthenticated attackers a way to carry out a variety of attacks.
  • SQL Injection flaw
  • Local file inclusion
  • Cross-Site Scripting
  • Cross-Site request forgery issue (most intrusive)

A good place to start would be the mitre framework to address some of these issues
  • https://attack.mitre.org/techniques/T1190/

Also, I would only allow specific users to access the file (i.e. root or application user - chown dbuser:dbuser /etc/<filename>

Add a firewall on the machine, remove external access to the DB or separate the DB entirely
  • ufw insert 1 allow in proto any from <appip> to <dbip> port 3306 comment "Allow access from this ispecific p"
  • iptables -I INPUT 1 -p tcp -s  <appIp> -d <dbIp> -m multiport --dport 3306 -m conntrack --ctstate NEW -j ACCEPT (logs the entries to the port)

Change the password on the application and DB to ensure they have access, create a docker container to help isolate the traffic (Docker-CE or ContainerD, Docker has adopted ContainerD)

Remove privileged from the DB container, follow NIST and DISA guidelines (Disa stigs)

Test the vulnerabilities using CommandoVM, Nessus, Ninjutsu-OS or others.

Ensure the filesystem is encrypted, perform replication across multiple DB instances
  • show slave status\G; (Mariadb, my preference)
  • show master status\G;

The attach the cluster to sysdig so they can help with the compliance and monitoring (third-party review).

Todd

 
Commentary
Ransomware Is Not the Problem
Adam Shostack, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Technologist, Game Designer,  6/9/2021
Edge-DRsplash-11-edge-ask-the-experts
How Can I Test the Security of My Home-Office Employees' Routers?
John Bock, Senior Research Scientist,  6/7/2021
News
New Ransomware Group Claiming Connection to REvil Gang Surfaces
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  6/10/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Google's new See No Evil policy......
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-24368
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-20
The Quiz And Survey Master &Atilde;&cent;&acirc;&sbquo;&not;&acirc;&euro;&oelig; Best Quiz, Exam and Survey Plugin WordPress plugin before 7.1.18 did not sanitise or escape its result_id parameter when displaying an existing quiz result page, leading to a reflected Cross-Site Scripting issue. This c...
CVE-2021-31664
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
RIOT-OS 2021.01 before commit 44741ff99f7a71df45420635b238b9c22093647a contains a buffer overflow which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.
CVE-2021-33185
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
SerenityOS contains a buffer overflow in the set_range test in TestBitmap which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.
CVE-2021-33186
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
SerenityOS in test-crypto.cpp contains a stack buffer overflow which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.
CVE-2021-31272
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
SerenityOS before commit 3844e8569689dd476064a0759d704bc64fb3ca2c contains a directory traversal vulnerability in tar/unzip that may lead to command execution or privilege escalation.