ESB-2018.0582 - [Appliance] Medtronic 2090 Carelink Programmer: Multiple vulnerabilities 2018-02-28

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             AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution

            Advisory (ICSMA-18-058-01): Medtronic 2090 Carelink
                        Programmer Vulnerabilities
                             28 February 2018


        AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary

Product:           Medtronic 2090 Carelink Programmer
Publisher:         ICS-CERT
Operating System:  Network Appliance
Impact/Access:     Access Privileged Data -- Console/Physical
                   Read-only Data Access  -- Existing Account
Resolution:        Mitigation
CVE Names:         CVE-2018-5448 CVE-2018-5446 

Original Bulletin:

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Advisory (ICSMA-18-058-01)
Medtronic 2090 Carelink Programmer Vulnerabilities
Original release date: February 27, 2018

Legal Notice

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"as is" for informational purposes only. The Department of Homeland Security
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Researchers Billy Rios and Jonathan Butts of Whitescope LLC have
identified vulnerabilities in Medtronic's 2090 CareLink Programmer and
its accompanying software deployment network. The CareLink programmer
is a portable computer system used by trained personnel to program and
manage cardiac devices in the clinic and procedure room. Medtronic has
not developed a product update to address these vulnerabilities, but has
identified compensating controls within this advisory to help reduce the
risk associated with these vulnerabilities.


The following 2090 CareLink Programmers are affected:

2090 CareLink Programmer, all versions.


Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities may allow an attacker with
physical access to a 2090 Programmer to obtain per-product credentials to the
software deployment network. These credentials grant access to the software
deployment network, but access is limited to read-only versions of device
software applications. No write capability exists with the credentials.

Medtronic has assessed the vulnerabilities and determined existing controls
are sufficient.

Impact to individual organizations depends on many factors that are unique
to each organization. NCCIC recommends that organizations evaluate the
impact of these vulnerabilities based on their operational environment
and specific clinical usage.


Medtronic is a medical technology, services, and solutions company
headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, and maintains offices around the world.

The affected product, the Medtronic CareLink 2090 Programmer, is used by
trained personnel at hospitals and clinics to program and manage Medtronic
cardiac devices. According to Medtronic, 2090 CareLink Programmers are
deployed across the Healthcare and Public Health sector. These programmers
are used worldwide.




The affected product uses a per-product username and password that is
stored in a recoverable format.

CVE-2018-5446 has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3
base score of 4.9 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is


The affected product's software deployment network contains a directory
traversal vulnerability that could allow an attacker to read files on
the system.

CVE-2018-5448 has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3
base score of 4.8 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is



These vulnerabilities could not be exploited remotely.


No known public exploits specifically target these vulnerabilities.


An attacker with high skill would be able to exploit these vulnerabilities.


Medtronic has assessed the vulnerabilities and determined that no new
potential safety risks were identified. In order to enhance system security,
Medtronic has added periodic integrity checks for files associated with
the software deployment network. Additionally, Medtronic has developed
server-side security changes that further enhance security. Medtronic
reports that they will not be issuing a product update; however, Medtronic
has identified compensating controls within this advisory to reduce the
risk of exploitation and reiterates the following from the CareLink 2090
Programmer Reference Manual (link is external):

Maintain good physical controls over the programmer. Having a secure
physical environment prevents access to the internals of the programmer.
Only connect the programmer to managed, secure networks.
Update the software on the programmer when Medtronic updates are available.

Medtronic has released a security bulletin for the 2090 CareLink Programmer,
which is available, with contact information, at the following location: (link is external)

NCCIC recommends users take defensive measures to minimize the risk of
exploitation of these vulnerabilities. Specifically, users should:

Minimize network exposure for all control system devices and/or systems,
and ensure that they are not accessible from the Internet.
Locate all medical devices and remote devices behind firewalls, and isolate
them from the business network.

NCCIC also provides a section for control systems security recommended
practices on the ICS-CERT web page. NCCIC reminds organizations to perform
proper impact analysis and risk assessment prior to deploying defensive

Additional mitigation guidance and recommended practices are
publicly available in the NCCIC Technical Information Paper,
ICS-TIP-12-146-01B--Targeted Cyber Intrusion Detection and Mitigation
Strategies, that is available for download from the ICS-CERT website.

Organizations observing any suspected malicious activity should follow
their established internal procedures and report their findings to NCCIC
for tracking and correlation against other incidents.

Contact Information

For any questions related to this report, please contact the NCCIC at:

Email: (link sends e-mail)
Toll Free: 1-888-282-0870

For industrial control systems cybersecurity information:
or incident reporting:

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