Security Experts:

Flaws Found in Carlo Gavazzi Energy Monitoring Products

Swiss-based industrial and building automation solutions provider Carlo Gavazzi has released firmware updates for some of its energy monitoring products to address potentially serious vulnerabilities that could expose devices to remote cyberattacks.

Security researcher Karn Ganeshen discovered that Carlo Gavazzi’s VMU-C EM and VMU-C PV products running firmware versions prior to A11_U05 and A17 are affected by at least three security holes that have been classified as having “critical” and “high” severity.

The VMU-C is designed to record, monitor and transmit signals from energy meters, power analyzers and other VMU modules in an effort to help organizations manage energy efficiency. The device includes a web server that can be used to set up the system and monitor data.

According to an advisory published last week by ICS-CERT, the product has a flaw that allows access to most of the application’s functions without authentication (CVE-2017-5144), and a cross-site request forgery (CSRF) weakness that can be exploited to change configuration parameters (CVE-2017-5145). Ganeshen also discovered that the product stores some sensitive information in clear text (CVE-2017-5146).

SAVE THE DATE: ICS Cyber Security Conference | Singapore - April 25-27, 2017

The researcher told SecurityWeek that the ICS-CERT advisory will likely be updated as it contains some inaccurate information; specifically, Ganeshen has not tested the firmware updates, and the flaws can be exploited remotely.

The expert said it took Carlo Gavazzi just over five months to release patches for its VMU-C products after being informed of the vulnerabilities. He commended the manufacturer for how it handled the situation.

Ganeshen plans on disclosing additional details on his blog. In the meantime, he told SecurityWeek that the flaws can be exploited remotely if the device’s administrator interface is accessible from the local network or the Internet.

“If the vulnerable versions are deployed at a power distribution facility anywhere, and the device is accessible over the Interwebs, you can access energy related database(s) stored on the device by sending one request,” the researcher explained.

Carlo Gavazzi is not the only vendor whose energy monitoring products have been found to be vulnerable by Ganeshen. A few months ago, he disclosed a series of flaws affecting power meters from Schneider Electric and FENIKS PRO.

UPDATE. Carlo Gavazzi told SecurityWeek it had released the A11_U05 and A17 firmware updates, which are available for download on the company's website or via the device's web interface, in December. However, the firm also released an intermediate firmware package to fix some of the reported flaws in August.

Carlo Gavazzi has pointed out that there is no evidence of any exploits specifically targeting these vulnerabilities.

“IT security is the result of a process. Carlo Gavazzi is committed to the continuous improvement of cyber-security of its systems and in this case the above security fixes are the results of a productive collaboration between Carlo Gavazzi, ICS CERT and their researchers; the VMU-C systems embed a feature that allows a user to easily download and install the latest firmware update. Updates are always available for free to all customers, so Carlo Gavazzi strongly suggests to always keep the VMU-C updated,” Carlo Cavazzi stated.

Related Reading: Smart Meters Pose Security Risks to Consumers, Utilities

Related Reading: Vermont Utility Refutes Reports of Russia Hacking U.S. Electric Grid

Related Reading: IBM Reports Significant Increase in ICS Attacks

view counter
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.