Security Experts:

Vulnerabilities in TBox RTUs Can Expose Industrial Organizations to Remote Attacks

UK-based industrial automation company Ovarro recently patched a series of vulnerabilities in its TBox remote terminal units (RTUs). Cybersecurity experts say these flaws could pose a serious risk to organizations.

Ovarro’s TBox RTUs are described by the vendor as a remote telemetry solution for remote automation and monitoring of critical assets. These devices are used worldwide, including in the water, oil and gas, power, transportation and process industries.

Tbox RTU vulnerabilitiesResearchers at industrial cybersecurity firm Claroty discovered last year that the TBox RTUs, as well as the associated TWinSoft engineering software, are affected by five types of vulnerabilities.

Information about the vulnerabilities — all of which have been rated “high severity” — is available in a blog post published by Claroty and advisories released by the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and Ovarro.

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The vulnerabilities can allow an attacker to bypass protection features, cause a denial-of-service (DoS) condition, and execute arbitrary code on a targeted device.

“The risks associated with these flaws threaten not only the integrity of automation processes, but also, in some cases public safety,” Claroty said in its blog post. “Using these security shortcomings, we were able to find web-based interfaces, similar to HMIs, that monitor process levels and other industrial activity. We’ve seen in the past what could go wrong when such an interface is exposed to the internet without security; the fact such interfaces are exposed online removes many barriers to entry for adversaries of all types.”

The company has conducted a search for TBox RTUs and discovered that more than 62% of the systems exposed to the internet did not require authentication.

Claroty reported last month that the number of vulnerabilities discovered in industrial control system (ICS) products in 2020 increased significantly compared to previous years. The company said nearly 900 flaws were disclosed last year.

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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.