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Vulnerabilities Found in Siemens SIPROTEC Protection Relays

Researchers discovered that Siemens’ SIPROTEC protection relays are plagued by a couple of medium severity information disclosure vulnerabilities. Firmware updates have been released by the vendor for some of the affected products.

The security holes affect SIPROTEC 4 and SIPROTEC Compact devices, which provide protection, control, measurement and automation functions for electrical substations and other applications. The products are deployed worldwide in the energy and other sectors.

According to advisories published this week by Siemens and ICS-CERT, the integrated web server of the vulnerable products allows an attacker with access to the network to obtain sensitive device information (CVE-2016-4784).

This flaw affects the EN100 Ethernet modules found in SIPROTEC 4 and SIPROTEC Compact devices, and the Ethernet service interface on Port A of several SIPROTEC Compact models.

The second vulnerability, which affects only EN100 Ethernet modules, allows an attacker on the network to access a portion of the device’s memory content (CVE-2016-4785). This issue is also related to the integrated web interface.

ICS-CERT noted that even a low-skilled attacker can exploit the vulnerabilities as long as they can gain access to the network hosting the devices.Siemens SIPROTEC relay

Versions 4.26 and earlier of the firmware running on EN100 Ethernet modules are affected by the vulnerabilities. Siemens has plugged the security holes by updating the firmware to version 4.27. Until patches become available for the other relays, the vendor advises customers to use firewalls, VPNs and network segmentation in order to protect the devices.

Aleksandr Bersenev from HackerDom and Pavel Toporkov from Kaspersky Lab have been credited for finding and reporting the vulnerabilities.

This is the second advisory published by ICS-CERT for Siemens SIPROTEC products. Last year, the organization warned users that remote attackers could cause devices with the EN100 Ethernet module (v4.24 and prior) to enter a denial-of-service (DoS) condition by sending specially crafted packets on Port 50000/UDP. This vulnerability was rated “high severity.”

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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.