Security Experts:

Alerts Issued for Zero-Day Flaws in SCADA Systems

The Industrial Control Systems Computer Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) has published a total of six advisories to warn organizations about a series of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system vulnerabilities disclosed by a researcher at the recent DEFCON conference in Las Vegas.

Elastica researcher Aditya K. Sood revealed on August 8 the existence of several vulnerabilities affecting SCADA systems, particularly human machine interfaces (HMI).

Sood has identified remote and local file inclusion, weak password hashing, insecure authentication, hardcoded credentials, weak crypto, cross-site request forgery (CSRF) and other types of vulnerabilities affecting web-based HMIs from companies such as Rockwell Automation, Siemens, Schneider Electric, KACO, Prisma and Moxa.

ICS-CERT has published two advisories for flaws affecting the web interfaces of Rockwell Automation 1766-L32BWAA/1766-L32BXBA and 1769-L18ER/A LOGIX5318ER programmable logic controllers (PLC) used for automation in industrial processes. According to the agency, Rockwell Automation 1769-L18ER/A and LOGIX5318ER devices are affected by a remotely exploitable cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability, while 1766-L32BWAA and 1766-L32BXBA controllers are affected by a remotely exploitable remote file inclusion flaw.

"Rockwell Automation is aware of these issues and we are in direct contact with ICS-CERT on these vulnerabilities. Our incident response teams are engaged and are actively determining our plans for remediation," a Rockwell Automation spokesperson told SecurityWeek.

An advisory has also been published for KACO HMI products. The code of the client designed to allow users to control the HMI reportedly includes hardcoded passwords.

Sood also claims to have identified hardcoded credentials and local/remote file inclusion vulnerabilities in Schneider Electric Modicon M340 PLC Station P34 CPU modules. The security bugs can be exploited for remote code execution, directory traversal, and denial-of-service (DoS).

In the case of Prisma, the researcher reporter discovering that the passwords used for accessing web products are not properly protected (i.e. they are present on a web page accessible to remote users). Furthermore, a CSRF vulnerability allows a remote, unauthenticated attacker to update the configuration of affected devices.

The Moxa ioLogik E2210 Ethernet Micro RTU controller, a PC-based data acquisition and control device, is plagued by three vulnerabilities that make it easier for an attacker to gain unauthorized access to the product.

Sood did not give affected vendors the opportunity to patch the vulnerabilities before their existence was disclosed. The researcher and ICS-CERT are currently working with vendors on confirming and addressing the security holes. Sood says his DEFCON slides will not be published until the companies get a chance to release patches.

ICS‑CERT has issued alerts for the vulnerabilities in an effort to provide early notice and mitigations for reducing the risks associated with these weaknesses. ICS-CERT’s recommendations include minimizing network exposure for control systems, using a VPN when remote access is required, and placing control system networks and devices behind firewalls.

*Updated with statement from Rockwell Automation

Related: Learn More at the ICS Cyber Security Conference

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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.