Security Experts:

Code Execution Flaws Found in EZAutomation PLC, HMI Software

Researchers discovered that two pieces of software made by U.S.-based industrial automation solutions provider EZAutomation are affected by potentially serious vulnerabilities that can be exploited for remote code execution.

One of the flaws, tracked as CVE-2019-13518, has been described as a high-severity stack-based buffer overflow affecting versions 2.1.0 and prior of EZTouch Editor, a human-machine interface (HMI) editor.

An attacker can exploit the vulnerability to execute arbitrary code in the context of the current process by getting the targeted user to open a specially crafted EZP project file.

The second weakness, identified as CVE-2019-13522, has been described as a high-severity memory corruption issue impacting EZAutomation’s EZPLC Editor, a programming tool for programmable logic controllers (PLCs).

This security hole, which affects versions 1.8.41 and prior, also allows arbitrary code execution. An attacker must convince the targeted user to open a malicious EZC project file to trigger the exploit.

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The flaws were discovered by the 9sg Security Team and reported to the vendor through Trend Micro’s Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). The issues were first reported in late March, but it took until recently for EZAutomation to take action, and CISA at one point told ZDI that communication with the vendor “was limited.”

According to the advisories published by CISA, the vulnerabilities have been patched by EZAutomation in EZPLC Editor 1.9.0 and EZTouch Editor 2.2.0, but these versions do not appear to be available for download from the vendor’s site at the time of writing. SecurityWeek has reached out to EZAutomation for clarification and will update this article if the company responds.

The vendor has also advised customers to reduce the risk of attacks by ensuring that they only open project files from trusted sources.

According to CISA, the impacted products are used worldwide in various sectors. EZAutomation says on its website that the EZ Touch HMI product is used by over 40,000 companies worldwide.

Related: Many Phoenix Contact PLCs Still Vulnerable Months After Researcher Issues Warning

Related: Flaw Exposes Mitsubishi PLCs to Remote DoS Attacks

Related: Critical Vulnerabilities Found in WAGO Industrial Switches

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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.