Siemens has released a firmware update for its 7KT PAC1200 smart meters to address a critical vulnerability that can allow remote attackers to bypass authentication and perform administrative actions on the device.
Siemens’ 7KT PAC1200 multichannel measuring devices, part of the company’s SENTRON energy management portfolio, are designed to allow customers to monitor energy consumption. The product uses sensors to collect data that can be viewed via a desktop web browser or mobile applications for Android and iOS.
Researcher Maxim Rupp discovered that the product’s integrated web server, which is accessible on TCP port 80, has a vulnerability that allows a remote attacker to bypass authentication using an alternate path or channel. An attacker can exploit the security hole to access the web interface and perform administrative operations.
The web interface allows users to obtain power consumption statistics for a specified period and determine if the allocated budget has been exceeded, and change settings related to the device, network, firmware, sensors and the Modbus protocol.
The vulnerability found by Rupp, tracked as CVE-2017-9944 and assigned a CVSS score of 9.8, affects the 7KT PAC1200 data manager (7KT1260) running a version of the firmware prior to 2.03.
Members of the information security industry have often warned in the past years about the risks posed by vulnerable smart meters. Last year, ICS-CERT issued security alerts after a researcher decided to disclose several flaws affecting power meters from FENIKS PRO and Schneider Electric.
More recently, a researcher warned that smart meters continue to expose consumers and electric utilities to cyberattacks, and even claimed that malicious actors may be able to cause the devices to explode. However, some experts have questioned these claims.