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AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
Advisory (icsa-19-302-01) PHOENIX CONTACT Automation Worx Software Suite
30 October 2019
AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
Product: Phoenix Contact Automation Worx Software Suite
Operating System: Network Appliance
Impact/Access: Execute Arbitrary Code/Commands -- Existing Account
CVE Names: CVE-2019-16675
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ICS Advisory (ICSA-19-302-01)
PHOENIX CONTACT Automation Worx Software Suite
Original release date: October 29, 2019
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provided"as is" for informational purposes only. The Department of Homeland
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1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
o CVSS v3 7.8
o ATTENTION: Low skill level to exploit
o Vendor: Phoenix Contact
o Equipment: Automation Worx Software Suite
o Vulnerability: Improper Input Validation
2. RISK EVALUATION
Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could compromise the
availability, integrity, or confidentiality of an application programming
workstation. Automated systems programmed using one of the affected products
are not impacted.
3. TECHNICAL DETAILS
3.1 AFFECTED PRODUCTS
The following versions of the Automation Worx Software Suite are affected:
o PC Worx Versions 1.86 and prior
o PC Worx Express Versions 1.86 and prior
o Config+ Versions 1.86 and prior
3.2 VULNERABILITY OVERVIEW
3.2.1 IMPROPER INPUT VALIDATION CWE-20
A manipulated PC Worx or Config+ project file could lead to arbitrary code
execution due to insufficient input data validation.
CVE-2019-16675 has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3 base score of
7.8 has been calculated; the CVSS vector string is ( AV:L/AC:L/PR:N/UI:R/S:U/
o CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE SECTORS: Communications, Critical Manufacturing,
o COUNTRIES/AREAS DEPLOYED: Worldwide
o COMPANY HEADQUARTERS LOCATION: Germany
9sg Security Team working with Trend Micro's Zero Day Initiative reported this
vulnerability to CISA. CERT@VDE coordinated this vulnerability with Phoenix
Phoenix Contact is in the process of developing an updated version of this
product. Prior to receiving the updated version, Phoenix Contact strongly
recommends users exchange project files using only secure file exchange
services, and that project files should not be exchanged via unencrypted email.
Phoenix Contact expects the next version of the Automation Worx Suite to be
available prior to the end of 2019, noting the upcoming release of Automation
Worx Software Suite will have a more robust validation of arrays regarding
dimension and the number of elements allowed during input data conversion. In
addition, input data validation will be extended in order to strengthen
defenses against manipulated project files. Additional preventative security
measures will be enabled for the compiler settings as well.
CISA recommends users take the following measures to protect themselves from
social engineering attacks:
o Do not click web links or open unsolicited attachments in email messages.
o Refer to Recognizing and Avoiding Email Scams for more information on
avoiding email scams.
o Refer to Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks for more
information on social engineering attacks.
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 this vulnerability.
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