Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

ICS/OT

Vulnerabilities Can Allow Hackers to Create Backdoors in Comtrol Industrial Gateways

Several vulnerabilities have been identified in Pepperl+Fuchs Comtrol IO-Link Master industrial gateways, including flaws that researchers claim can be exploited to gain root access to a device and create backdoors.

Several vulnerabilities have been identified in Pepperl+Fuchs Comtrol IO-Link Master industrial gateways, including flaws that researchers claim can be exploited to gain root access to a device and create backdoors.

Vulnerabilities found in Pepperl+Fuchs Comtrol industrial gateways

A researcher at Austria-based cybersecurity consultancy SEC Consult discovered five types of vulnerabilities in Pepperl+Fuchs Comtrol industrial products, including cross-site request forgery (CSRF), reflected cross-site scripting (XSS), blind command injection, and denial-of-service (DoS) issues. The impacted products were found to leverage outdated versions of third-party components that were known to have vulnerabilities, including PHP, OpenSSL, BusyBox, Linux kernel, and lighttpd.

In an advisory published on January 4, Pepperl+Fuchs said the vulnerabilities can allow remote attackers to gain access to the targeted device, execute “any program,” and obtain information.

Johannes Greil, principal security consultant and head of the SEC Consult Vulnerability Lab, told SecurityWeek that if an attacker can gain access to one of the affected Comtrol devices — for example, by using an XSS attack or password guessing — they may be able to execute commands on the device with root privileges and implement persistent backdoors.

Learn more about vulnerabilities in industrial systems at SecurityWeek’s ICS Cyber Security Conference and SecurityWeek’s Security Summits virtual event series

IO-Link is an industrial communications protocol used for digital sensors and actuators. Pepperl+Fuchs says its IO-Link Master product line “combines the benefits of the IO-Link standard with the EtherNet/IP and Modbus TCP protocols. The IO-Link Master effectively shields the PLC programmers from the IO-Link complexities by handling those complexities itself.”

The vendor patched the flaws discovered by SEC Consult several months after being informed of their existence. The company said a dozen IO-Link Master products are impacted and urged customers to update the U-Boot bootloader, the system image, and the application base to prevent exploitation.

SEC Consult has published an advisory that contains proof-of-concept (PoC) code for each of the vulnerabilities.

Related: ICS Vendors Release Advisories for CodeMeter Vulnerabilities

Related: CredSSP Flaw Exposes Pepperl+Fuchs HMI Devices to Attacks

Related: Critical Vulnerabilities Expose Pepperl+Fuchs Industrial Switches to Attacks

Written By

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.

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Expert Insights

Related Content

CISO Strategy

Cybersecurity-related risk is a top concern, so boards need to know they have the proper oversight in place. Even as first-timers, successful CISOs make...

Cloud Security

VMware vRealize Log Insight vulnerability allows an unauthenticated attacker to take full control of a target system.

IoT Security

Lexmark warns of a remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability impacting over 120 printer models, for which PoC code has been published.

ICS/OT

Otorio has released a free tool that organizations can use to detect and address issues related to DCOM authentication.

Application Security

Drupal released updates that resolve four vulnerabilities in Drupal core and three plugins.

Mobile & Wireless

Apple rolled out iOS 16.3 and macOS Ventura 13.2 to cover serious security vulnerabilities.

Email Security

Microsoft is urging customers to install the latest Exchange Server updates and harden their environments to prevent malicious attacks.

Vulnerabilities

Less than a week after announcing that it would suspended service indefinitely due to a conflict with an (at the time) unnamed security researcher...