Date: 30 October 2012
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AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
ICS-ALERT-12-097-02Aâ3S-SOFTWARE CODESYS IMPROPER ACCESS CONTROL
30 October 2012
AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
Operating System: Network Appliance
Impact/Access: Execute Arbitrary Code/Commands -- Remote/Unauthenticated
Unauthorised Access -- Remote/Unauthenticated
Comment: Publicly released tools can exploit vulnerabilities so as to obtain a
shell and transfer arbitrary files to and from the PLC.
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ICS-ALERT-12-097-02Aâ3S-SOFTWARE CODESYS IMPROPER ACCESS CONTROL
October 26, 2012
ICS-CERT is aware of a public report of improper access control vulnerability
affecting 3S-Software CoDeSys. CoDeSys is a third-party product used on
programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and engineering workstations. According
to this report, an attacker can upload unauthenticated configuration changes to
the PLC, which may include arbitrary code. This report was released by Reid
Wightman, [Digital Bond] (now with IOActive), without coordination with either
the vendor or ICS-CERT.
ICS-CERT has notified the affected vendor of the report and has asked the
vendor to confirm the vulnerabilities and identify mitigations. ICS-CERT is
issuing this alert to provide early notice of the report and identify baseline
mitigations for reducing risks to these and other cybersecurity attacks.
The researchers have publicly released two tools containing exploit code for
these vulnerabilities. The first tool can be used by an attacker to obtain a
shell on the PLC. The second tool can be used by an attacker to transfer
arbitrary files to and from the PLC.
The report included vulnerability details for the following vulnerabilities:
Vulnerability Type Remotely Impact
Improper Access Yes Loss of integrity, confidentiality,
Directory Traversal Yes Loss of integrity, confidentiality
Please report any issues affecting control systems in critical infrastructure
environments to ICS-CERT.
3S has a Web site where asset owners can look up devices that uses CoDeSys.
ICS-CERT is currently coordinating with the vendor and security researcher to
ICS-CERT recommends that users take defensive measures to minimize the risk of
exploitation of these
vulnerabilities. Specifically, users should:
* Minimize network exposure for all control system devices. Control system
devices should not directly face the Internet. [a]
* Locate control system networks and devices behind firewalls, and isolate them
from the business network.
* If remote access is required, employ secure methods such as Virtual Private
Networks (VPNs), recognizing that VPN is only as secure as the connected
ICS-CERT reminds organizations to perform proper impact analysis and
risk assessment prior to taking defensive measures.
ICS-CERT also provides a recommended practices section for control systems on
the US-CERT Web site. Several recommended practices are available for reading
or download, including Improving Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity with
Defense-in-Depth Strategies. [b]
Organizations that observe any suspected malicious activity should follow their
established internal procedures and report their findings to ICS-CERT for
tracking and correlation against other incidents.
ICS-CERT Operations Center
For industrial control systems security information and incident reporting:
ICS-CERT continuously strives to improve its products and services. You can
help by answering a short series of questions about this product at the
following URL: https://forms.us-cert.gov/ncsd-feedback/.
What is an ICS-CERT Alert? An ICS-CERT Alert is intended to provide timely
notification to critical infrastructure owners and operators concerning threats
or activity with the potential to impact critical infrastructure computing
When is vulnerability attribution provided to researchers? Attribution for
vulnerability discovery is always provided to the vulnerability reporter unless
the reporter notifies ICS-CERT that they wish to remain anonymous. ICS-CERT
encourages researchers to coordinate vulnerability details before public
release. The public release of vulnerability details prior to the development
of proper mitigations may put industrial control systems and the public at
a. ICS-CERT ALERT,
http://www.us-cert.gov/control_systems/pdf/ICS-Alert-10-301-01.pdf, Web site
last accessed October 25, 2012.
b. Control System Security Program (CSSP) Recommended Practices,
Website last accessed October 25, 2012.
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