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AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
Advisory (icsa-19-281-02) GE Mark VIe Controller
9 October 2019
AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
Product: GE Mark VIe Controller
Operating System: Network Appliance
Impact/Access: Execute Arbitrary Code/Commands -- Remote/Unauthenticated
Root Compromise -- Existing Account
CVE Names: CVE-2019-13918 CVE-2019-13554
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ICS Advisory (ICSA-19-281-02)
GE Mark VIe Controller
Original release date: October 08, 2019
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1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
o CVSS v3 6.8
o ATTENTION: Low skill level to exploit
o Vendor: GE
o Equipment: Mark VIe Controller
o Vulnerabilities: Improper Authorization, Use of Hard-coded Credentials
2. RISK EVALUATION
Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities could allow an attacker to
create read/write/execute commands within the Mark VIe control system.
3. TECHNICAL DETAILS
3.1 AFFECTED PRODUCTS
All versions of the GE Mark VIe Controller are affected by at least one of the
vulnerabilities. Some versions are affected by both. For more information
3.2 VULNERABILITY OVERVIEW
3.2.1 IMPROPER AUTHORIZATION CWE-285
The affected product has an unsecured Telnet protocol that may allow a user to
create an authenticated session using generic default credentials.
CVE-2019-13554 has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3 base score of
6.3 has been calculated; the CVSS vector string is ( AV:N/AC:L/PR:L/UI:N/S:U/
3.2.2 USE OF HARD-CODED CREDENTIALS CWE - 798
The affected product is shipped with pre-configured hard-coded credentials that
may allow root-user access to the controller. A limited application of the
affected product may ship without setup and configuration instructions
immediately available to the end user. The bulk of controllers go into
applications requiring the GE commissioning engineer to change default
configurations during the installation process.
CVE-2019-13918 has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3 base score of
6.8 has been calculated; the CVSS vector string is ( AV:L/AC:L/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/
o CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE SECTOR: Energy
o COUNTRIES/AREAS DEPLOYED: Worldwide
o COMPANY HEADQUARTERS LOCATION: United States
Sharon Brizinov of Claroty reported these vulnerabilities to GE.
GE recommends users apply the following mitigations:
o Disable the Telnet service (Telnet was enabled by default on Mark VIe
controllers with versions of Control*ST earlier than v6.0).
o Reset controller passwords upon transfer of Mark VIe to the operating
GE Mark VIe Control system owners can request access and find instructions in
GEH-6808, Control*ST Software Suite How to Guidelines.
GE Mark VIe Control system owners can reference GEH-6839, Secure Deployment
Guidelines, for further instruction on security actions with installation and
maintenance of their control system.
GE recommends organizations employ a defense-in-depth strategy through user
authentication and authorization with features native to the control system to
remediate security risk against the communication protocol vulnerabilities
For more information contact GE at https://www.ge.com/security
CISA recommends users take defensive measures to minimize the risk of
exploitation of this vulnerability. Specifically, users should:
o Minimize network exposure for all control system devices and/or systems,
and ensure that they are not accessible from the Internet .
o Locate control system networks and remote devices behind firewalls, and
isolate them from the business network.
o When remote access is required, use secure methods, such as Virtual Private
Networks (VPNs), recognizing that VPNs may have vulnerabilities and should
be updated to the most current version available. Also recognize that VPN
is only as secure as the connected devices.
CISA reminds organizations to perform proper impact analysis and risk
assessment prior to deploying defensive measures.
CISA also provides a section for control systems security recommended practices
on the ICS webpage on us-cert.gov . Several recommended practices are available
for reading and download, including Improving Industrial Control Systems
Cybersecurity with Defense-in-Depth Strategies .
Additional mitigation guidance and recommended practices are publicly available
on the ICS webpage on us-cert.gov in the Technical Information Paper,
ICS-TIP-12-146-01B--Targeted Cyber Intrusion Detection and Mitigation
Organizations observing any suspected malicious activity should follow their
established internal procedures and report their findings to CISA for tracking
and correlation against other incidents.
No known public exploits specifically target these vulnerabilities. These
vulnerabilities are not exploitable remotely.
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