Security Experts:

Hundreds of Flaws Found in Philips Healthcare Product

Researchers have identified hundreds of high severity vulnerabilities in a healthcare product from Philips. The vendor has released software updates that address the issues.

The affected product is Philips Xper Information Management Connect, a hospital information system used in the healthcare sector primarily in the United States and Europe.

According to an advisory published by ICS-CERT on Thursday, Xper Connect versions 1.5.12 and prior running on Windows XP are affected by a total of 460 vulnerabilities, many of which could allow an attacker to compromise the system. The flaws were discovered by Mike Ahmadi of Synopsys and Billy Rios of Whitescope LLC using an automated analysis tool.

ICS Cyber Security ConferenceOf the total number of security holes, 188 affect the outdated operating system Windows XP and 272 are specific to Xper software packages. ICS-CERT says 360 of the flaws have been rated “high severity”, while the rest have been classified as “medium severity.”

The issues found by researchers have been described as code injections, information exposure flaws, resource management and numeric errors, and improper restriction of operations within the bounds of a memory buffer. The vulnerabilities can be exploited remotely even by an attacker with low skill and exploits are publicly available.

Philips has advised Xper Connect users to update their operating system to Windows 2008-R2 in order to address the Windows vulnerabilities and install Xper version 1.5 service pack 13 to resolve the product-specific issues. ICS-CERT said a third-party organization has confirmed that the software updates fix the problems.

Philips has provided the following statement to SecurityWeek:

"In the second quarter of 2016, Philips was contacted by security researchers regarding potential security vulnerabilities with the Philips Xper Information Management (IM) Connect system. As part of our Responsible Disclosure policy and processes, Philips has been in collaboration with the security researchers investigating this issue, to promptly and transparently address the identified vulnerabilities in the Xper IM-Connect system.


The joint analysis by Philips and the researchers determined that Xper-IM Connect systems running on out-of-date and unsupported operating systems and outdated product software were vulnerable to a number of potential exploits, which if implemented, could result in a remote attacker gaining access to an affected system.


The Philips product security team was able to confirm that all of the reported vulnerabilities in the Xper-IM Connect system are addressed by upgrading to the newer version of Windows and applying a new product software version. We are providing recommendations and contact information in order to help any affected customers using a potentially affected Xper-IM Connect System address the issue and correct any affected systems as rapidly as possible.


Both Philips and the security researchers contributed to a joint disclosure to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s NCCIC/ICS-CERT organization, which was the source for that body’s Medical Device Advisory concerning this issue.


Philips is committed to ensuring the security and integrity of our products. Philips takes this matter very seriously. While any potential or identified security vulnerabilities are a concern, at this time we are not aware of any customers or patients that have been directly affected by this issue."

This is not the first time Billy Rios has been credited for finding vulnerabilities in Philips’ Xper products. In 2013, the expert identified a critical heap-based buffer overflow that could have been exploited by remote attackers to execute arbitrary code with administrator privileges.

*Updated with statement from Philips

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.