Security Experts:

Flaw in Rockwell PanelView Allows Root-Level Access to Devices

A serious vulnerability in Rockwell Automation’s PanelView graphics terminals allows a remote, unauthenticated attacker to gain root-level access to the device’s file system.

According to security advisories published on Tuesday by the DHS and Rockwell Automation (authentication required), the flaw impacts PanelView 5510 human-machine interfaces (HMIs) made before March 13, 2019, specifically ones that have never been updated to versions 4.003 or 5.002, which patch the issue.

“A remote, unauthenticated threat actor with access to an affected PanelView 5510 Graphic Display, upon successful exploitation, may boot-up the terminal such an error occurs which can allow access to root-level access to the device’s file system,” Rockwell said.

The flaw, tracked as CVE-2019-10970, has been assigned a CVSS score of 7.5, which puts it in the “high severity” category.

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The affected product provides an interface that allows users to monitor and control devices attached to certain Rockwell programmable automation controllers via Ethernet/IP. The terminals are used worldwide in the critical infrastructure, automotive, entertainment, water systems, food and beverage, and other industries.

Rockwell has advised customers to update their devices to versions 4.003, 5.002 or later. Organizations that can’t immediately apply the updates have been advised to restrict access to TCP and UDP ports 2222 and 44818 to block traffic from outside the manufacturing zone, only use trusted applications and only interact with trusted websites and file attachments, and minimize network exposure for control systems.

Rockwell said it learned about the vulnerability from several customers. The company then reported the issue to the DHS’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC).

Related: Rockwell Controller Flaw Allows Hackers to Redirect Users to Malicious Sites

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Related: Rockwell Automation Patches Critical DoS/RCE Flaw in RSLinx Software

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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.