The Electronic Frontier Foundation retracted a blog post today highly critical of Verizon and the upcoming rollout of an app called AppFlash made by Evie Labs.
Original release date: March 30, 2017
US-CERT is aware of active exploitation of a vulnerability in Windows Server 2003 Operating System Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0. Exploitation of this vulnerability may allow a remote attacker to take control of an affected system.
On June 15, 2015, Microsoft ended support for Windows Server 2003 Operating System, which includes its Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0 web server. Computers running Windows Server 2003 Operating System and its associated programs will continue to work even after support ends. However, using unsupported software may increase the risks of viruses and other security threats.
NCCIC/ICS-CERT is aware of a public report of a directory traversal vulnerability with proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit code affecting the embedded webserver (“PST10 WebServer”) in Miele Professional PG 8528, a large capacity washer and disinfector used in hospitals and laboratory settings to disinfect medical and laboratory equipment. According to this report, the vulnerability is remotely exploitable.
This advisory contains mitigation details for cross-site request forgery, information exposure, and inadequate encryption vulnerabilities in Schneider Electric's Wonderware InTouch Access Anywhere.
This advisory contains mitigation details predictable value range from previous values, use of insufficiently random values, and insufficiently protected credentials vulnerabilities in Schneider Electric's Modicon PLCs.
As numerous studies have shown, smart houses, smart cars, and smart cities are undeniably beneficial to people in everyday life, but quite often can become a threat to their safety. It is not only a matter of personal data leakage. Just imagine that, for example, a smart refrigerator, affected by a third party at one point or another, would begin identifying expired products as fresh. There is yet another more dismal scenario: the system of a smart car turns the vehicle to the right at high speed, catching the driver unaware…
However, both existing and predictable threats that emerge from home IoT devices are only part of the problem related to the infrastructure around us becoming “smarter”. A technological boom in medicine both encouraged medical institutions to use exclusively information systems in processing data and led to the emergence of new types of technological equipment and personal devices that can be used to interact with traditional systems and networks. This means that the threats that are relevant for them can also be relevant for medical systems.
Entry Points for Accessing Valuable Data
For the medical industry, the main attack vector is related to personal data and information on the health condition of patients. The first step in evaluating the security level for data is identifying entry points within the infrastructure of medical institutions where healthcare data can be collected, stored, and/or taken advantage of by an evildoer.
Possible entry points can be classified as follows:
- information systems on the computer network of a medical institution (servers, workstations, admin panels for medical equipment, etc.) that access the Internet;
- medical equipment that is connected to an enterprise network;
- medical equipment that is not a network node but connects to a workstation (for example, via USB);
- portable devices of patients (advanced fitness trackers, pacemakers and cardiac monitors, insulin pumps, etc.) and mobile devices that can track health indicators (mobile smartphones and smart watches);
- other wireless information systems (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or RF), which can be mobile ECG devices, pulse oximeters, event monitors for tracking the medical condition of high-risk patients, and so on.
For the last three classes mentioned above, a detailed first-hand analysis of specific models related to these classes is required. It is for exactly this reason that those devices deserve an article of their own. For now, we will focus on devices and their components that do not require physical access and are frequently accessible from the Internet.
Portable Devices May Port Medical Histories
We’ve already written the following about the security of portable devices in March of 2015: “Just imagine, if a fitness tracker with a heart-rate monitor is hacked, then any shop owner will be able to track the heart rate of buyers as they look at discounts in the shop. The influence of advertisements on people can be learned in the same manner. Moreover, a hacked fitness tracker with a heart-rate monitor can be used as a lie detector.”
Owing to the increasing accuracy of sensors, gadgets that collect data on the health condition of their owners can potentially be used in serious ambulatory care to assess a patient’s health. However, the level of security for these gadgets has not been developing as fast as their capabilities.
Tracking vital signs with the help of mobile devices may become an integral part of ambulatory care in the nearest future
Information that is collected by tracking vital signs can be used by both the owner of the device and the vendor of the infrastructure that the tracking app operates on. For users, the heart-rate parameter can signify that a certain activity should be decreased, specific medicines should be taken, etc., while vendors can send collected data to medical companies that can use it to assess the overall health of the client.
Thus, the main advantage of data collected by a gadget is not the depth of its analysis (any medical examination will yield more accurate results than readings from a fitness tracker) but the ability to evaluate changes in a patient’s health condition dynamically. Scenarios for using the information are limited by the imagination and enterprise of the owner, as well as by laws related to personal data.
If we look at the same piece of information from the perspective of a cybercriminal, then an owner of such a device will have not the most favorable outlook – analysis of certain parameters (for example, heart rate, sleep quality, or average ADL score) allows a criminal to gain an overview of a victim’s health. Any additional information may be provided by a gadget that is connected to the mobile device and is capable, for instance, of measuring the blood pressure or blood sugar levels of its user. After making conclusions about the ailments of a victim, an evildoer can provoke their aggravation.
Attacks to obtain health data can be divided into three basic types: those that violate data privacy, those that compromise data integrity, and those that attack data availability. Main vectors can be defined for each of those.
Types of attack that violate the privacy of medical data:
- man-in-the-middle attacks on a sensor channel between the sensor and the service that stores the sensor’s data;
- unauthorized access to local and remote data storage.
Types of attacks on data integrity:
- unauthorized access to data storage with possible data substitution;
- man-in-the-middle spoofing attacks on channels in order to substitute transmitted data;
- modification (substitution) of data (spoofing attacks) and their transmission to consumers (as a service that stores data or an app).
Attacks on availability:
- ransomware attacks (encryption/deletion of user data).
Entry points for malicious code that commits theft or substitutes data on a mobile device depend on a specific combination of device and software.
Online Medical Data
Yet, I would like to review another entry point in detail – information systems on a medical institution’s network that are accessible from the Internet.
Medical institutions utilize automated healthcare data storage solutions, which store miscellaneous information about patients (diagnosis results, information about prescribed drugs, medical histories, etc.). The infrastructure of such a system may include various hardware and software components, which can be merged into data storage networks and can be accessible from the Internet in one form or another.
Regarding solutions for storage of healthcare data, several software packages, which can be exploited as entry points into medical infrastructure, can be given as examples.
- Hospital information systems (HISs) are software packages that control medical information coming from various sources, including the systems mentioned below.
- Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems are dedicated software that enable storage of structured patient data and documentation of patient medical history.
- Network-attached storage (NAS) refers to dedicated network storage devices, which can be both specialized devices for storing healthcare data or enterprise devices employed in the medical-institution
- DICOM-complaint (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) devices and PACS (picture archiving and communication system) servers are medical information systems based on the DICOM standard and include the following components:
- a DICOM client, which is a medical device that is capable of transmitting data to a DICOM server;
- a DICOM server, which is a hardware and software package that provides for the receipt and storage of data from clients (in particular, these devices can be PACS servers);
- a DICOM diagnostic workstation and DICOM printers, both of which are hardware and software packages that are responsible for processing, visualizing, and printing medical images.
A key feature of the above-mentioned systems is a web interface (a web app) that is used to control them over the Internet. A web interface may have vulnerabilities that can be exploited by an evildoer, who can gain access to valuable information and processes. It is worth reviewing these systems in detail and verifying whether they are accessible from the Internet, i.e. if they are a potential entry point for evildoers.
Electronic Health Records (EHR)
In order to evaluate the number of apps that are available from the outside (from the Internet) and can work with EHR, a list of software employed in these tasks should be created and then a dork list should be organized. Dorks are special search-engine queries that are aimed at finding web components of required software among all of the resources indexed by a search engine.
Here is an example of a dork query that uses Google to search for the login form of EHR software components:
intitle:”<vendor_name> Login” & inurl:<vendor name>
The example of a discovered web component (a login form) of software that is intended to work with EHR
It should be noted that some of the resources found in the search results turned out to be traps for evildoers (honeypots). This fact alone indicates that analysts are seeking to track threats related to medical infrastructure. To check if an identified resource is a honeypot, an IP address should be submitted to a special service, HoneyScore, which, by scanning a number of the resource’s attributes (for example, the hosting provider), reaches a verdict on whether or not the resource is a honeypot. Nevertheless, a significant part of the discovered resources is represented by actual systems.
126 discovered resources that meet the search criteria
Each of the discovered web resources is a potential entry point that can be exploited by an evildoer to access the infrastructure. For example, many discovered systems lack protection against an exhaustive password search, which means that a criminal can use brute-force attacks. Then, by using a hacked account, the evildoer can gain privileged access to the system through the interface or find or exploit online vulnerabilities in order to access the system in the future.
An example of a discovered web interface for logging into an EHR system
Hospital Information Systems (HISs)
A “hospital information system” is quite a vast notion that includes a set of methods and technologies for processing medical information. In our case, we are interested only in the HIS components that have a web interface for controlling and visualizing medical information.
Let’s consider the software of OpenEMR as an example. This software is used in medical institutions as a medical-data management solution, and it is certified by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). Some of its components are written in the PHP programming language, which means that a potential entry point for an evildoer can be a web server that maintains these OpenEMR components.
The next Google dork query returned 106 search results that meet the following criterion:
inurl:”/interface/login/login_frame.php” intitle:”Login” intext:”Username:”
After a quick analysis of the search results, it became obvious that components of the majority of the discovered OpenEMR systems have vulnerabilities, including some critical ones. This means that these vulnerabilities open up the OpenEMR database to being compromised. This comes with the fact that exploits for the discovered vulnerabilities are publicly available.
An example of a vulnerable HIS that was openly exposed
For example, analyzing different software versions revealed that information had been published on the vulnerabilities for the vast majority of software installed on the hosts.
|OpenEMR version||Number of hosts (%)||Availability of public exploits|
|Proprietary (modified) version||8,5||–|
Network Attached Storage (NAS)
There are at least two types of NAS servers that have been used by medical institutions: dedicated “medical” NAS servers and common ones. While the former have strict security requirements for the data stored on them (for example, compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), the security of the latter rests on the conscience of their developers and the medical institutions that use this type of NAS in their infrastructure. As a result, non-medical NAS may be left working without any updates for years and thus gather a great number of known vulnerabilities.
A list of dorks should be created to select NAS devices located in medical institutions out of all of the other devices indexed by search engines.
The next query is for the Censys search engine, which specializes in indexing devices with IP addresses and finds all of the devices (workstations, servers, routers, NAS servers, etc.) that belong to companies whose names contain words that directly or indirectly define these companies as medical institutions (“healthcare”, “clinic”, “hospital”, and “medical”):
autonomous_system.organization: (hospital or clinic or medical or healthcare)
The Censys search engine found approximately 21,278 hosts that are related to medical institutions
The Censys report, which is shown below, lists the top 10 countries where these hosts are located.
|United States||18 926|
|Republic of Korea||135|
Afterward, only those hosts that are FTP servers can be taken out from the search results that contain the hosts. In order to do this, the query in the search engine should be more specific and, for example, only the hosts that contain an open FTP port and whose banners contain the “FTP” line should be searched for (this is the information that a server sends to a client during attempts to connect to its port):
(tags: ftp) and autonomous_system.organization: (health or clinic or medical or healthcare)
The search results displayed 1,094 hosts with operational FTP servers, which presumably belong to medical institutions.
Additionally, a list of vendor-specific NAS devices can be obtained from the narrowed-down search results. For this, the typical characteristics of a device must be known. These may be included in responses from services that are active on the device (for example, an FTP-server response to a connection attempt may contain the name of the device and its firmware version). The next query allows for selection of only those hosts that contain the “NAS” line in their banner (generally, several QNAP Systems models have this property) from all found hosts:
(metadata.description: nas) and autonomous_system.organization: (health or clinic or medical or healthcare)
The discovered QNAP Systems NAS servers that belong to medical organizations
A ProFTPd web-server release that has vulnerabilities was installed on each of the found NAS. For this release, there is also publicly available and easily accessible information about its exploits.
PACS Servers and DICOM Devices
The most common type of devices that utilize the DICOM format are PACS servers that print patient images that have been received from other DICOM devices.
It is possible to enter the following primitive query in the Shodan search engine to start searching for DICOM devices:
Accordingly, the search results will display hosts (mostly workstations and servers) that are used in medical institutions for storing and processing patient DICOM images.
The list of hosts that are used to process/store DICOM images
Also, it might be worth searching for diagnostic DICOM workstations, which are dedicated PACS systems used for processing, diagnosing, and visualizing data. As an example, the following query for the Censys search engine can be used:
pacs and autonomous_system.organization: (hospital or clinic or medical or healthcare)
Analysis of the search results may reveal dedicated software for a diagnostic workstation.
The login forms of diagnostic workstations used for visualization of patient data
Aside from that, there are also admin panels used to access DICOM servers in the search results.
A login form for accessing a DICOM server
Non-medical Systems with “Pathologies”
The systems described above handle valuable medical data. Therefore, security requirements for those systems must be high. However, let’s not forget that besides potential entry points, there are dozens of other points an evildoer can use that are not directly related to medical systems but are located in the infrastructure along with valuable data.
Here are several examples of non-medical systems that can be used as a potential entry point into a computer network with the goal of subsequently moving on to resources where medical information is stored:
- any servers (web servers, FTP servers, e-mail servers, etc.) that are connected to the network of an institution and are accessible from the Internet;
- a medical institution’s public Wi-Fi hotspots;
- office printers;
- video surveillance systems;
- SCADA controllers;
- automated systems for controlling mechanical and electrical components of a building (building management systems, BMS).
Each of the mentioned systems may have a vulnerability that can be taken advantage of by an evildoer in order to gain access to medical infrastructure.
For example, the popularity of the Heartbleed vulnerability can be evaluated. This requires entering the following query into the Censys search engine:
autonomous_system.organization: (hospital or clinic or medical or healthcare) and 443.https.heartbleed.heartbleed_vulnerable: 1
The search engine showed 66 hosts that met the criteria and were potentially vulnerable to Heartbleed. Additionally, this was after the existence of the vulnerability, and its dangers had been given wide coverage by the mass media. Generally speaking, when referring to Heartbleed, it should be noted that the problem is global in nature. According to a report by the founder of Shodan, approximately 200,000 websites still remain vulnerable.
In order keep evildoers from stealing medical data from institutions, we, along with taking essential security measures typical for enterprise infrastructure, recommend doing the following:
- exclude from external access all of the information systems that process medical data or any other patient-related data;
- all of the medical equipment that connects to a workstation (or is a network node) should be isolated in a dedicated segment, while the operational parameters of the equipment can be modified by using the workstation (or remotely);
- any online information systems should be isolated in a “demilitarized” zone or completely excluded from an enterprise network;
- continuously monitor medical-system software for updates and update software regularly;
- change default passwords that are set up for the login forms of medical systems and delete unwanted accounts from the database (for example, test accounts);
- create strong passwords for all accounts.
This advisory contains mitigation details for improper authorization, cross-site scripting, and cross-site request forgery vulnerabilities in the Siemens RUGGEDCOM ROX I.
This advisory contains mitigation details for arbitrary file upload and stack buffer overflow vulnerabilities in the 3S-Smart Software Solutions GmbH CODESYS Web Server.
The Kaspersky Lab Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT) is starting a series of regular publications about our research devoted to the threat landscape for industrial organizations.
All statistical data used in the report was obtained using Kaspersky Security Network (KSN), a distributed antivirus network. Data was received from those KSN users who consented to have their data collected anonymously.
The research carried out in the second half of 2016 by Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT experts clearly demonstrates a number of trends in the evolution of industrial enterprise security.
On average, in the second half of 2016 Kaspersky Lab products across the globe blocked attempted attacks on 39.2% of protected computers that Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT classifies as being part of industrial enterprise technology infrastructure.
This group includes computers that run Windows and perform one or more of the following functions:
- Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) servers,
- Data storage servers (Historian),
- Data gateways (OPC),
- Stationary engineer and operator workstations,
- Mobile engineer and operator workstations,
- Human Machine Interface (HMI).
The group also includes computers of external 3-d party contractors, SCADA vendors and system integrators as well as internal SCADA administrators.
Every month, an average of one industrial computer in five (20.1%) is attacked by malware. We have seen stable growth in the percentage of industrial computers attacked since the beginning of our observations, highlighting the importance of cybersecurity issues.
Percentage of industrial computers attacked by month (second half of 2016)
- Isolation of industrial networks can no longer be considered an effective protective measure. The proportion of malware infection attempts involving portable media, infection of backup copies, use of sophisticated schemes for transferring data from isolated networks in complex attacks – all of this demonstrates that risks cannot be avoided by simply disconnecting a system from the Internet.
Sources of threats blocked on industrial computers (second half of 2016)
- Remarkably, there is very little difference between the rankings of malware detected on industrial computers and those of malware detected on corporate computers. We believe that this demonstrates the absence of significant differences between computers on corporate networks and those on industrial networks in terms of the risk of chance infections. However, it is obvious that even a chance infection on an industrial network can lead to dangerous consequences.
According to our data, targeted attacks on companies in different industrial sectors are increasingly common. These are organized attacks that can target one enterprise, several enterprises, companies in one industrial sector or a broad range of industrial enterprises.
The Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT detected a series of phishing attacks which began no later than June 2016 and which are still active. The attacks target primarily industrial companies – metallurgical, electric power, construction, engineering and others. We estimate the number of companies attacked at over 500 in more than 50 countries around the world.
None of the malicious programs used in the attack – trojan spies and backdoors from different families, such as ZeuS, Pony/FareIT, Luminosity RAT, NetWire RAT, HawkEye, and ISR Stealer – are unique to this malicious campaign. They are all very popular among cybercriminals. However, these programs are packed with unique modifications of VB and MSIL packers that are used only in this attack. Our experience of investigating targeted attacks shows that cyberespionage is often used to prepare subsequent attack stages.
One quarter of all targeted attacks uncovered by Kaspersky Lab in 2016 targeted, among others, different industries – machine building, energy, chemical, transport and others.
In 2016, Kaspersky Lab evaluated the current state of IT security components in the industrial control systems of different vendors. As a result of this research, 75 vulnerabilities were identified in ICS components. 58 of them were marked as maximum critical vulnerabilities (CVSS v3.0 severity score 7.0 or higher).
Distribution of industrial computers attacked by classes of malware used in attacks (second half of 2016)
Distribution of vulnerabilities uncovered by Kaspersky Lab in 2016 according to the ways in which they can be used
Of the 75 vulnerabilities identified by the middle of March 2017 by Kaspersky Lab, industrial software vendors closed 30.
The approach of industrial software vendors to closing vulnerabilities and the situation with fixing known vulnerabilities at enterprises is by no means reassuring. The approach to addressing vulnerabilities as part of the software development cycle has not yet been sufficiently refined: vendors do not prioritize the closing of identified vulnerabilities based on their severity, they prefer to fix vulnerabilities in the next release of their product rather than releasing a fix or patch that is critical from an IT security viewpoint.
Another issue is the installation of updates and security patches at enterprises. Based on our research and ICS IT security audits, we believe that for ICS owners, the process of installing critical updates is either too labor-intensive or not a high-priority task in the system’s overall lifecycle. As a result, at some enterprises critical updates of various industrial system components are not installed for years, making these enterprises vulnerable in the event of cyberattacks.
The industrial network is increasingly similar to the corporate network – both in terms of usage scenarios and in terms of technologies used. New technologies are being used that improve process transparency and efficiency at the enterprise level, as well as providing flexibility and fault tolerance of the functions performed at medium and lower industrial automation levels. The upshot of all this is that the cyber threat landscape for industrial systems is increasingly similar to the threat landscape for corporate networks. Consequently, we can expect not only the emergence of new threats specifically designed for industrial enterprises but also the evolution of existing, traditional IT threats, which involves their adaptation for attacks against industrial enterprises and physical world objects.
The emergence of large-scale malicious campaigns targeting industrial enterprises indicates that black hats see this area as promising. This is a serious challenge for the entire community of industrial automation system developers, owners and operators of such systems, and security vendors. We are still remarkably languid and slow-moving in most cases, which is fraught with dangers under the circumstances.
The full report is available on Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT website.
Original release date: March 27, 2017
Apple has released security updates for several products to address multiple vulnerabilities. Exploitation of some of these vulnerabilities may allow a remote attacker to take control of an affected system.
US-CERT encourages users and administrators to review the following Apple Support Articles and apply the updates.
- HT207604 – macOS Server 5.3
- HT207601 – tvOS 10.2
- HT207602 – watchOS 3.2
- HT207617 – iOS 10.3
- HT207615 – macOS Sierra 10.12.4, Security Update 2017-001 El Capitan, and Security Update 2017-001 Yosemite
- HT207600 – Safari 10.1
- HT207595 – iWork (macOS 10.12 or later, and iOS 10.0 or later)