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ICS Vendors Address Vulnerabilities Affecting Widely Used Licensing Product

Industrial control systems (ICS) vendors and other organizations have published advisories to address a couple of serious denial of service (DoS) vulnerabilities affecting a widely used licensing and DRM solution made by Germany-based Wibu-Systems.

The flaws affect Wibu’s CodeMeter product and they were discovered in April by cybersecurity firm Tenable, which published an advisory describing the issues — along with proof-of-concept (PoC) code — on June 15.

CodeMeter is designed to protect software against piracy and reverse engineering, it offers licensing management capabilities, and it includes security features that provide protection against tampering and other attacks.

A successor of the WibuKey DRM solution, CodeMeter can be used for a wide range of applications, but it’s often used for industrial products such as PCs, IIoT devices, and controllers.

The more serious of the flaws discovered by Tenable, tracked as CVE-2021-20093 and rated critical, affects the CodeMeter Runtime network server, and it allows an unauthenticated attacker to remotely access heap memory contents or crash the CodeMeter Runtime server by sending specially crafted TCP/IP packets.

The second vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2021-20094 and rated high severity, can also be exploited to cause the Runtime server to crash. The flaw can be exploited by sending specially crafted HTTP requests to the server, and is related to the CmWAN server, which is disabled by default.

“The recommended/standard setup is to run a CodeMeter Runtime CmWAN server only behind a reverse proxy with TLS and user authentication. If this is the case and the attacker is not on the same network as the CmWAN server, the attack is only possible for authenticated users. If the attacker is on the same network as the CmWAN server, an unauthenticated user can perform the attack. This is only the case if the attacker can access the CmWAN port directly (default port 22351),” Wibu said in the advisory it made public on June 10.

The vulnerabilities were patched with the release of CodeMeter Runtime version 7.21a.

Since Tenable and Wibu disclosed the flaws, several vendors that use the vulnerable product have published their own advisories. National cybersecurity agencies, including the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and Germany’s [email protected], have also released advisories.

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The list of vendors includes Siemens, Austria-based automation and industrial software firm COPA-DATA, Swedish–Swiss industrial solutions provider ABB, automotive software and engineering services firm Vector, and, most recently, Germany-based Phoenix Contact. [email protected] published an advisory on August 4, but it focuses on impact on Phoenix Contact products.

Affected products include Phoenix Contact’s Activation Wizard, PC Worx Engineer, PLCNEXT ENGINEER, FL Network Manager, EV charging products, and IOL-CONF; ABB’s Automation Builder, Drive Application Builder, and Virtual Drive; Vector’s License Server; COPA-DATA’s zenon and straton products; and Siemens’ PSS CAPE, SICAM, SIMATIC, SIMIT, SINEC and SINEMA products.

The vendors have shared information on patching, as well as mitigations that can be used to prevent potential attacks.

There is no indication that these vulnerabilities have been exploited for malicious purposes.

This is not the first time multiple industrial automation vendors publish security advisories in response to vulnerabilities found in Wibu products.

Related: Several Industrial Automation Products Affected by WibuKey DRM Flaws

Related: Vulnerabilities in CodeMeter Licensing Product Expose ICS to Remote Attacks

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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.