Security Experts:

Serious Flaws Found in ControlByWeb Industrial Weather Station

Researchers have discovered two potentially serious vulnerabilities in an industrial-grade weather station made by ControlByWeb, a company that specializes in products that allow organizations to remotely monitor and control electrical devices.

ControlByWeb’s Ethernet I/O products come with a built-in web server that enables access from a web browser. The company says its products can be easily integrated into industrial automation and SCADA systems, or they can be used as standalone devices.

Applied Risk researchers Tom Westenberg and John Elder have analyzed ControlByWeb’s X-320M product, a high-end, web-enabled controller designed for monitoring and recording weather information. The product can publish weather data to specialized weather services, it can send email and SMS notifications if specified parameters are exceeded, and it can remotely activate relays on other products made by the company.

ControlByWeb weather station vulnerabilitiesThe experts discovered that the device’s Web-Enabled Instrumentation-Grade Data Acquisition module is affected by a denial-of-service (DoS) vulnerability that can be exploited to disrupt all TCP-based communications on the device through specific network settings.

Specifically, the attacker can set the “IP Filter Range 1” option in the setup.html page from 255.255.255.255 to 0.0.0.0, which causes a persistent DoS condition that prevents access to the device until a factory reset is performed.

The second vulnerability is a stored cross-site scripting (XSS) bug that affects the “Site Description” input field on the same HTML page. An attacker could inject a malicious script into this field and it would get executed when a legitimate user visits the device’s status page.

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The vulnerabilities, tracked as CVE-2018-18881 and CVE-2018-18882, have both been rated “high severity.” They both require the attacker to authenticate on the targeted device, but Applied Risk told SecurityWeek that these devices are shipped with default credentials that are publicly available. If the default credentials have not been changed by the user and the device is directly connected to the Internet without any additional protection, exploitation of the flaws is not difficult.

The vulnerabilities impact devices running version 1.05 or prior of the firmware. ControlByWeb has released version 1.06 to patch the vulnerabilities.

Applied Risk says it has also notified ICS-CERT, which also released an advisory on Thursday.

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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.