Security Experts:

Vulnerabilities Found in Emerson SCADA Product Made for Oil and Gas Industry

A researcher from Kaspersky has identified several vulnerabilities in Emerson OpenEnterprise, a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) solution designed for the oil and gas industry.

Roman Lozko, a researcher at Kaspersky’s ICS CERT unit, discovered four vulnerabilities in Emerson OpenEnterprise. The security flaws were reported to the vendor in December 2019 and patches were released a few months later.

The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and Kaspersky published advisories for three of the vulnerabilities last week. The remaining vulnerability was described by Kaspersky in an earlier advisory.

According to Emerson, OpenEnterprise is specifically designed to address the requirements of organizations focusing on oil and gas production, transmission and distribution.

The security holes found by Lozko have been described as heap-based buffer overflow, missing authentication, improper ownership management, and weak encryption issues.

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The first two are the most serious. Tracked as CVE-2020-6970 and CVE-2020-10640 and both rated critical, they can allow an attacker to remotely execute arbitrary code with elevated privileges on devices running OpenEnterprise.

“The most critical vulnerabilities allow remote attackers to execute any command on a computer with OpenEnterprise on it with system privileges, so this might lead to any possible consequences,” Vladimir Dashchenko, security expert at Kaspersky, told SecurityWeek.

Dashchenko says an attacker could exploit these vulnerabilities either from the network or directly from the internet. However, there do not appear to be any instances of the affected product exposed to the internet.

“Based on Shodan statistics, currently there are no directly exposed OpenEnterprise SCADA systems available,” Dashchenko explained. “It means that asset owners with installed OpenEnterprise are definitely following the basic security principles for industrial control systems.”

The remaining vulnerabilities can be exploited to escalate privileges and to obtain passwords for OpenEnterprise user accounts, but exploitation in both cases requires local access to the targeted system.

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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.