ICS Advisory (ICSMA-17-332-01)

Ethicon Endo-Surgery Generator G11 Vulnerability

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Johnson & Johnson, the parent company of Ethicon Endo-Surgery, LLC, reported an improper authentication vulnerability in the Ethicon Endo-Surgery Generator Gen11. EthiconEndo-Surgery, LLC has produced updates that mitigate this vulnerability in the affected product.


The following versions of the Ethicon Endo-Surgery Generator Gen11 are affected:

  • Ethicon Endo-Surgery Generator Gen11, all versions released before November 29, 2017.


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.


Ethicon Endo-Surgery, LLC is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson and is a U.S.-based company that maintains offices in several countries around the world.

The Ethicon Endo-Surgery Generator Gen11 is deployed across the Healthcare and Public Health sector. This product is marketed globally.




The security authentication mechanism used between the Ethicon Endo-Surgery Generator Gen11 and single-patient use products can be bypassed, allowing for unauthorized devices to be connected to the generator, which could result in a loss of integrity or availability.

CVE-2017-14018b has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3 base score of 4.8 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is (AV:P/AC:H/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:N/I:H/A:L).c


This vulnerability cannot be exploited remotely.


No known public exploits specifically target this vulnerability.


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


Ethicon Endo-Surgery, LLC has contacted users and initiated a field cybersecurity update to address the vulnerability in the Ethicon Endo-Surgery Generator Gen11. The update was made available on November 29, 2017. Users with questions regarding the vulnerability or the product update are advised to contact their Ethicon Endo-Surgery, LLC sales representative or Ethicon Customer Support Center at 1-877-ETHICON.

  • aCWE-287: Improper Authentication, http://cwe.mitre.org/data/definitions/287.html, web site last accessed November 28, 2017.
  • bNVD, http://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/vuln/detail?vulnId=CVE-2017-14018, 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:U/C:N/I:H/A:L, web site last accessed November 28, 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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