ICS Advisory (ICSMA-17-017-01)

BD Alaris 8000 Insufficiently Protected Credentials Vulnerability

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This advisory was originally posted to the NCCIC Portal on January 17, 2017, and is being released to the NCCIC/ICS-CERT web site.

Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) has identified an insufficiently protected credentials vulnerability in BD’s Alaris 8000 Point of Care (PC) unit, which provides a common user interface for programming intravenous infusions. BD has not developed a product fix to address this vulnerability, but has issued compensating controls to help reduce the risk associated with this vulnerability.


The following Alaris 8000 PC unit versions are affected:

  • Alaris 8000 PC unit, all versions


Successful exploitation of this vulnerability may allow an unauthorized user with physical access to an affected device to access the host facility’s wireless network authentication credentials and other sensitive technical data.

Impact to individual organizations depends on many factors that are unique to each organization. ICS-CERT recommends that organizations evaluate the impact of this vulnerability based on their operational environment and specific clinical usage.


BD is a US-based company that maintains offices in multiple countries around the world.

The affected product, the Alaris 8000 PC unit, is the core of the Alaris System that provides a common user interface for programming intravenous infusions. According to BD, the Alaris 8000 PC unit is deployed across the Healthcare and Public Health sector. BD estimates that the Alaris 8000 PC unit is used worldwide.




An unauthorized user with physical access to an Alaris 8000 PC unit may be able to obtain unencrypted wireless network authentication credentials and other sensitive technical data by disassembling an Alaris 8000 PC unit and accessing the device’s flash memory. The Alaris 8000 PC unit stores wireless network authentication credentials and other sensitive technical data on internal flash memory. Accessing the internal flash memory of the affected device would require special tools to extract data and carrying out this attack at a healthcare facility would increase the likelihood of detection.

CVE-2016-8375b has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3 base score of 4.9 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is (AV:P/AC:H/PR:N/UI:N/S:C/C:H/I:N/A:N).c



This vulnerability could not be exploited remotely.


No known public exploits specifically target this vulnerability.


An attacker with high skill would be able to exploit this vulnerability.


BD has not developed a product fix to address the vulnerability, but has issued compensating controls to reduce the risk of exploitation. BD recommends that users apply the following compensating controls:

  • Users are advised to exercise diligence in implementing a physical asset management program that involves tracking and inventorying equipment.
  • Users are advised to follow procedures for clearing wireless network authentication credentials on the Alaris PC unit if the device is to be removed or transported from the facility. These procedures are outlined in the Alaris System Maintenance Software User Manual.
  • Users are advised to change wireless network authentication credentials regularly and immediately if there is evidence of unauthorized physical access to an Alaris device at their facility.
  • Users are strongly encouraged to consider security policy in which wireless credentials are not configured for the Alaris PC unit if wireless networking functionality is not being utilized for operation. This will remediate this vulnerability for nonwireless users.
  • Users may choose to implement Access Control Lists that restrict device access to specific media access control (MAC) and IP addresses, ports, protocols, and services.
  • Users may choose to place Alaris PC units on an isolated network with dedicated service set identifier (SSID) to reduce the impact of compromised wireless network credentials. In all cases, security best practice prescribes frequent changing of SSID and wireless authentication credentials.

BD has released a security bulletin for the Alaris PC unit (PCU) model 8000, which is available at the following location:


For additional information about the identified vulnerability or BD’s compensating controls, please contact BD’s Customer Support, which is available at the following location:


ICS-CERT also provides a section for security recommended practices on the ICS-CERT web page at http://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/content/recommended-practices. ICS-CERT reminds organizations to perform proper impact analysis and risk assessment prior to deploying defensive measures.

Additional mitigation guidance and recommended practices are publicly available in the ICS‑CERT Technical Information Paper, ICS-TIP-12-146-01B--Targeted Cyber Intrusion Detection and Mitigation Strategies, that is available for download from the ICS-CERT web site (http://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/).

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

  • aCWE-522: Insufficiently Protected Credentials, http://cwe.mitre.org/data/definitions/522.html, web site last accessed February 07, 2017.
  • bNVD, http://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/vuln/detail?vulnId=CVE-2016-8375, NIST uses this advisory to create the CVE web site report. This web site will be active sometime after publication of this advisory.
  • cCVSS Calculator, https://www.first.org/cvss/calculator/3.0#CVSS:3.0/AV:P/AC:H/PR:N/UI:N/S:C/C:H/I:N/A:N, web site last accessed February 07, 2017.

Contact Information

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

Email: CISAservicedesk@cisa.dhs.gov
Toll Free: 1-888-282-0870

For industrial control systems cybersecurity information:  https://us-cert.cisa.gov/ics 
or incident reporting:  https://us-cert.cisa.gov/report

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