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Vulnerability Identified in BD FACSLyric Flow Cytometry Solution

Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) has identified an improper access control vulnerability in its BD FACSLyric flow cytometry solution. If the flaw is exploited, an attacker could gain access to administrative level privileges on a vulnerable workstation and execute commands. The vulnerability requires a low level of skill to exploit.

BD extensively tests its software for potential vulnerabilities and promptly corrects flaws. BD is currently taking steps to mitigate the vulnerability for all users of vulnerable FACSLyric flow cytometry solutions.

The flaw (CVE-2019-6517) is due to improper enforcement of user access control for privileged accounts. It has been given a CVSS v3 base score of 6.8 – Medium severity. BD self-reported the vulnerability to the National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center (NCCIC).

The vulnerability is present in the following cytometry solutions:

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  • BD FACSLyric Research Use Only, Windows 10 Professional Operating System, U.S. and Malaysian Releases (Nov 2017 and Nov 2018)
  • The U.S. release of BD FACSLyric IVD Windows 10 Professional Operating System.

FACSLyric flow cytometry systems on Windows 7 are unaffected.

BD is contacting all affected users and will perform remediation activities to correct the flaw. These include disabling the admin account for users with BD FACSLyric RUO Cell Analyzer units on Windows 10 Pro. Computer workstations with BD FACSLyric IVD Cell Analyzer units on Windows 10 Pro will be replaced.

Users of the vulnerable solutions that have not yet been contacted by BD can contact BD Biosciences General Tech Support for further information.

To minimize the risk of exploitation of vulnerabilities such as this, NCCIC recommends locating medical devices and systems behind firewalls, minimizing network exposure for medical devices and systems, restricting access to authorized individuals, applying the rule of least privilege, adopting defense in depth strategies, and disabling unnecessary accounts and services.

Author: Steve Alder is the editor-in-chief of HIPAA Journal. Steve is responsible for editorial policy regarding the topics covered on HIPAA Journal. He is a specialist on healthcare industry legal and regulatory affairs, and has several years of experience writing about HIPAA and other related legal topics. Steve has developed a deep understanding of regulatory issues surrounding the use of information technology in the healthcare industry and has written hundreds of articles on HIPAA-related topics.