Security Experts:

Urgent/11 Flaws Impact More RTOS Used by Medical, Industrial Devices

IoT security firm Armis has confirmed that the recently disclosed vulnerabilities tracked as Urgent/11 affect several real time operating systems (RTOS) other than VxWorks.

Armis revealed in late July that Wind River’s VxWorks operating system, which is used by millions of devices, is affected by 11 vulnerabilities, including critical flaws that can be exploited to take control of devices.

Several major industrial and automation solutions providers whose products use VxWorks have issued advisories to inform users on the impact of the Urgent/11 vulnerabilities.

When it first disclosed its findings, Armis noted that the flaws exist in the VxWorks IPnet TCP/IP stack and warned that other RTOS may be affected as well considering that Interpeak licensed this IPnet stack to other vendors before it was acquired by Wind River in 2006.

Armis now says it has identified six other RTOS that use the problematic IPnet stack, including ZebOS by IP Infusion, ITRON by TRON Forum, OSE by ENEA, Nucleus RTOS by Mentor, Integrity by Green Hills, and ThreadX by Microsoft.

Many embedded systems rely on these RTOS, including many medical and industrial devices. Armis has been able to validate the impact of the flaws on BD Alaris infusion pumps running OSE, the HP Proliant management engine based on Nucleus, Canon printers that use ThreadX, Planex routers based on ZebOS, and ArrowSpan access points that run Integrity.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), ENEA said the Interpeak IPnet stack has not been used in its products since 2007, and Green Hills said the affected IPnet was a third-party add-on offered for Integrity between 2003 and 2006.

Microsoft says its ThreadX RTOS is not shipped with and does not specifically support IPnet, but some hardware vendors may have used ThreadX with a custom IPnet.

TRON claims it does not endorse the use of any particular TCP/IP stack — it’s up to developers to decide what system to use and some may have opted for Interpeak’s IPnet. CISA says ZebOS developers have yet to make any comments.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a safety communication to warn patients, healthcare providers and manufacturers about the risks posed by Urgent/11 vulnerabilities.

“Though the IPnet software may no longer be supported by the original software vendor, some manufacturers have a license that allows them to continue to use it without support. Therefore, the software may be incorporated into other software applications, equipment, and systems which may be used in a variety of medical and industrial devices that are still in use today,” the FDA explained.

Related: Claroty Releases Free Diagnostic Tool for Urgent/11 Vulnerabilities

Related: Industrial Giants Respond to 'Urgent/11' Vulnerabilities

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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.