Security Experts:

Advantech Patches Code Execution Flaws in SCADA Product

An update released by Taiwan-based industrial automation company Advantech for its WebAccess product patches two remote code execution vulnerabilities, ICS-CERT reported on Thursday.

Advantech WebAccess is a browser-based software package for human-machine interfaces (HMI) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.

According to ICS-CERT, WebAccess versions prior to 8.2_20170817 are affected by a stack-based buffer overflow (CVE-2017-14016) and an untrusted pointer dereference issue (CVE-2017-12719).

“The application lacks proper validation of the length of user-supplied data prior to copying it to a stack-based buffer, which could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code under the context of the process,” ICS-CERT described the buffer overflow, which has been classified as medium severity.

As for the second flaw, which has been rated high severity, the organization warned that “a remote attacker is able to execute code to dereference a pointer within the program causing the application to become unavailable.”

The vulnerabilities were reported to the vendor by Steven Seeley of Offensive Security through Trend Micro’s Zero Day Initiative (ZDI).

ZDI has yet to make public the advisories describing these vulnerabilities. However, these are not the only Advantech flaws that the company will disclose in the upcoming period – its “Upcoming Advisories” section lists more than 70 vulnerabilities, including ones rated critical. A majority of them were reported by Seeley.

ZDI plans on disclosing many of the security holes in late November and early December. A report published by the company in May showed that it takes Advantech, on average, 131 days to patch vulnerabilities, which exceeds ZDI’s 4-month disclosure deadline.

Researchers have discovered a significant number of flaws in the company’s WebAccess product in the past years. Just a few months ago, ICS-CERT revealed that a total of ten weaknesses, including ones that allowed remote code execution and unauthorized access, had been resolved by the vendor.

While Advantech has addressed many of the vulnerabilities found by researchers, there have been cases where the company failed to release fixes before public disclosure, the patches were not complete, and even issued patches that introduced new flaws.

Related: Advantech WebAccess Flaws Allow Access to Sensitive Data

Related: Average Patching Time for SCADA Flaws Is 150 Days

Related: One-Third of Industrial Networks Connected to Internet

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.