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DHS Warns of Critical Flaws in Medtronic Medical Devices

Critical vulnerabilities impacting Medtronic Valleylab products could allow attackers to overwrite files and achieve remote code execution, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warns.

An advisory published by the DHS’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warns of three recently patched vulnerabilities in Medtronic Valleylab FT10 and FX8 devices that could allow attackers to install a non-root shell.

Although the network connections on these products should be disabled by default and the Ethernet port disabled upon reboot, network connectivity is often enabled, thus exposing them to attacks.

The impacted devices use multiple sets of hardcoded credentials that, if exposed, could allow attackers to read files, CISA’s advisory reads. Tracked as CVE-2019-13543, the first of these vulnerabilities has a base score of 5.8.

It was also discovered that the vulnerable products use the descrypt algorithm for OS password hashing. Although network-based logons are disabled, other vulnerabilities could be used to get local shell access and obtain these hashes. The issue is tracked as CVE-2019-13539 and has a CVSS score of 7.0.

Additionally, a vulnerable version of the rssh utility used in these products to facilitate file uploads could allow attackers to gain administrative access to files or execute arbitrary code. These critical bugs are tracked as CVE-2019-3464 and CVE-2019-3463 and feature a CVSS score of 9.8.

The vulnerabilities impact Valleylab Exchange Client version 3.4 and below, Valleylab FT10 Energy Platform (VLFT10GEN) software version 4.0.0 and below, and Valleylab FX8 Energy Platform (VLFX8GEN) software version 1.1.0 and below.

Security patches released by Medtronic are now available for the FT10 platform and are expected to be released in early 2020 for the FX8 platform.

“Medtronic recommends that surgeons and nurses continue to use these devices as intended. Customers should maintain good cyber hygiene practices by only connecting these devices to the hospital network when necessary and shutting them down between uses until the new software update is complete,” the medical equipment provider says.

The vulnerable products should either be disconnected from IP networks or the networks should be segregated in an effort to ensure that the devices are not accessible from an untrusted network, the CISA advisory reads.

The DHS also warns of two other vulnerabilities impacting Valleylab FT10 Energy Platform (VLFT10GEN) version 2.1.0 and lower and version 2.0.3 and lower, and Valleylab LS10 Energy Platform (VLLS10GEN) version 1.20.2 and lower.

The issues impact the RFID security mechanism of these devices and could allow attackers to connect inauthentic instruments to the affected products.

“This may lead to a loss of performance integrity and platform availability due to incorrect identification of instrument and associated parameters,” CISA explains.

The discovered vulnerabilities are tracked as CVE-2019-13531, with a CVSS score of 4.8, and CVE-2019-13535, which features a CVSS score of 4.6.

Software updates that address both flaws have already been released for all affected devices.

“Medtronic recommends that surgeons and nurses continue to use these electrosurgical generators and the associated LigaSure devices as intended, and update to the latest software version. Because of the potential for inauthentic LigaSure devices to be recognized by the generators, customers should ensure that all LigaSure devices are purchased only from Medtronic or authorized Medtronic distributors,” the company says.

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