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Schneider Electric Patches Critical Flaw in HMI Products

Schneider Electric has released updates for its InduSoft Web Studio and InTouch Machine Edition products to address a critical vulnerability that can be exploited for remote code execution.

InduSoft Web Studio allows organizations to develop human-machine interfaces (HMIs), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems and embedded instrumentation solutions. The Wonderware InTouch product, which is used in over one-third of the world’s industrial facilities, is an HMI visualization software. The products are used in various industries, including manufacturing, water and wastewater, automotive, oil and gas, building automation, and energy.

Aaron Portnoy, former CTO and founder of Exodus Intelligence and current employee of Raytheon, discovered that the products are affected by a critical stack-based buffer overflow vulnerability (CVE-2017-14024) that allows a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code with elevated privileges.

“InduSoft Web Studio and InTouch Machine Edition provide the capability for an HMI client to subscribe to tags and monitor their values,” Schneider Electric explained in its advisory. “A remote malicious entity could send a carefully crafted packet to exploit a stack-based buffer overflow vulnerability during tag subscription, with potential for code to be executed. The code would be executed under high privileges and could lead to a complete compromise of the InduSoft Web Studio or InTouch Machine Edition server machine.”

The vulnerability affects InduSoft Web Studio 8.0 SP2 Patch 1 and prior, and InTouch Machine Edition 8.0 SP2 Patch 1 and prior. Patches are included in version 8.1 of the products.

According to ICS-CERT, an exploit for the flaw is publicly available and only low-level hacking skills are required for exploitation.

This is not the only critical flaw discovered by Portnoy in the two Schneider Electric products. In September, ICS-CERT and the vendor warned users of a serious missing authentication issue that also allowed attackers to execute arbitrary code and possibly take complete control of affected servers.

Back in 2012, the researcher reported finding nearly two dozen security holes in ICS products from Rockwell Automation, Schneider, InduSoft (which at the time was not owned by Schneider), RealFlex and Eaton.

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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.