Researchers have identified nine critical vulnerabilities in the pneumatic tube system (PTS) used by 80% of hospitals in North America and 3,000 hospitals worldwide, putting them at heightened risk of ransomware attacks.
The vulnerabilities – discovered in Swisslog Healthcare’s Translogic PTS by researchers from security platform Armis – were found in the Nexus Control Panel, which powers all current models of the Translogic PTS stations.
The system plays a crucial role in patient care. It is considered a critical healthcare infrastructure responsible for transporting medications, blood products, lab samples, and other materials throughout hospitals via a network of automated pneumatic tubes.
By exploiting the nine vulnerabilities – collectively dubbed PwnedPiper – attackers would be able to take over PTS stations and gain complete control over a target hospital’s tube network, in turn allowing them to launch ransomware attacks by deliberately re-routing materials to disrupt a hospitals workflow or even halting the operation of the system altogether.