Security Experts:

BINOM3 Energy Meters Vulnerable to Remote Attacks

BINOM3, a multifunctional revenue energy meter and power quality analyzer from Russia-based Algoritm, is plagued by several serious vulnerabilities for which patches don’t appear to exist.

The flaws were discovered by security researcher Karn Ganeshen and reported to the vendor via ICS-CERT on May 25. Since the company has not responded to ICS-CERT’s notifications, the expert decided to make his findings public.

According to Ganeshen, the web management portal of BINOM3 devices is plagued by both reflected and persistent cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities that can be leveraged by authenticated and sometimes even unauthenticated attackers to execute arbitrary JavaScript code by getting the targeted user to click on a link or visit a certain webpage.

Another problem identified by the expert is related to poorly secured accounts. The researcher has identified four accounts protected by weak passwords that can only be changed by the root user. The root account is not documented and it can be accessed with easy-to-guess credentials (i.e. root/root).

Ganeshen warned that passwords and other sensitive information is stored in clear text. Such information is also exposed to man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks.

ICS Cyber Security ConferenceBINOM3 is also vulnerable to cross-site request forgery (CSRF) attacks due to the lack of CSRF tokens. To make matters worse, Telnet access to the device does not appear to require password authentication, giving remote attackers easy access with elevated privileges.

Until patches become available, ICS-CERT has advised users to minimize network exposure for all control systems and use VPNs when remote access is required.

According to the vendor’s website, the affected products are designed for autonomous operation in automated systems, including SCADA, data acquisition and transmission, measurement, power quality monitoring, process control, and information management. The BINOM3 website is available in Russian, English and German, which suggests that the product is available in several countries.

BINOM3 is not the only brand of energy products analyzed by Ganeshen. Last week, ICS-CERT issued two alerts after the researcher disclosed several vulnerabilities affecting similar products from Schneider Electric and FENIKS PRO.

Related: Learn More at the ICS Cyber Security Conference

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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.