Codesys this week announced patches for nearly a dozen vulnerabilities discovered in the company’s products by researchers at Chinese cybersecurity firm NSFocus.
The industrial automation software solutions provided by the German company are used by some of the world’s largest industrial control system (ICS) manufacturers, and vulnerabilities affecting Codesys products can impact a large number of devices.
The NSFocus researchers have identified many vulnerabilities in Codesys V2 products in the past year, but some of them were combined into a single CVE identifier, resulting in a total of 13 flaws being assigned CVEs.
Gao Jian, one of the NSFocus researchers involved in this project, told SecurityWeek that two of the CVEs were resolved by Codesys in October 2021 and 11 were patched with updates announced on June 23, 2022.
A post describing some of these vulnerabilities, as well as the research process, was published on Thursday on GitHub.
“These vulnerabilities are simple to exploit, and they can be successfully exploited to cause consequences such as sensitive information leakage, PLCs entering a severe fault state, and arbitrary code execution. In combination with industrial scenarios on field, these vulnerabilities could expose industrial production to stagnation, equipment damage, etc.,” the post reads.
Two of the security holes, related to improperly protected passwords and the lack of password protection, have been assigned “critical” severity ratings, and several have been rated “high severity.” More than half of the flaws can be exploited for denial-of-service (DoS) attacks.
In its advisories (2022-11 and 2022-12), Codesys admits that the vulnerabilities can be exploited remotely by an attacker with low skills, but the company says in many cases an attacker requires some form of access to the targeted system. Codesys is not aware of any public exploits targeting the flaws.
The NSFocus researchers discovered the vulnerabilities in a programmable logic controller (PLC) made by ABB, but they believe — based on an investigation — that controllers from several other vendors that use Codesys are likely affected as well. The list includes Wago, Eaton, Bosch Rexroth, Bachmann, Festo, Keba, Kinco and Exor.
A video has been published to show how an attacker could launch a DoS attack against an ABB PLC:
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