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Siemens Patches Flaws in SIMATIC, License Manager Products

Siemens has released software updates to address several vulnerabilities in its SIMATIC and Automation License Manager (ALM) products.

According to advisories published last week by both ICS-CERT and Siemens, the ALM, which allows customers to centrally manage licenses for their Siemens products, is affected by three vulnerabilities. The security holes, including one rated high severity and one rated critical, were reported to the vendor by researchers from Kaspersky Lab’s critical infrastructure team.

The critical vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2016-8565, is a path traversal issue that allows a remote attacker to upload files to the disk, create and remove folders, or move existing files via specially crafted packets.

The high severity weakness, identified as CVE-2016-8563, allows an attacker to cause a denial-of-service (DoS) condition by sending special packets on TCP port 4410. ALM is also affected by a medium severity SQL injection flaw that can be leveraged by an attacker with access to port 4410 to read and change ALM configurations.ICS Cyber Security Conference

Siemens has released ALM 5.3 SP3 Update 1 to address the vulnerabilities. However, it’s worth noting that CVE-2016-8565 does not affect ALM 5.3 SP3.

The company has also fixed two low severity issues identified by Positive Technologies researchers in its SIMATIC STEP 7 (TIA Portal) engineering software.

The vulnerabilities, related to encryption, cannot be exploited remotely and it’s not easy to craft a working exploit, ICS-CERT said in its advisory.

The flaws, tracked as CVE-2016-7960 and CVE-2016-7959, can be exploited by a local attacker to access potentially sensitive information included in TIA Portal project files, and to more easily brute-force preshared keys used to protect machine-to-machine communications.

These issues have been resolved by Siemens with the release of SIMATIC STEP 7 v14. In addition to applying the updates, users have also been advised to take steps to limit access to sensitive systems.

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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.