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AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
Advisory (icsa-21-042-02) Rockwell Automation DriveTools SP and Drives AOP
12 February 2021
AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
Product: DriveTools SP
Operating System: Windows
Impact/Access: Increased Privileges -- Existing Account
Reduced Security -- Existing Account
CVE Names: CVE-2021-22665
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ICS Advisory (ICSA-21-042-02)
Rockwell Automation DriveTools SP and Drives AOP
Original release date: February 11, 2021
All information products included in https://us-cert.cisa.gov/ics are provided
"as is" for informational purposes only. The Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information
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1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
o CVSS v3 7.5
o Vendor : Rockwell Automation
o Equipment : DriveTools SP and Drives AOP
o Vulnerability : Uncontrolled Search Path Element
2. RISK EVALUATION
Successful exploitation of this vulnerability may result in privilege
escalation and total loss of device confidentiality, integrity, and
3. TECHNICAL DETAILS
3.1 AFFECTED PRODUCTS
Rockwell Automation reports the vulnerability affects the following products:
o DriveTools SP v5.13 and below
DriveExecutive v5.13 and below
o Drives AOP v4.12 and below (supports Logix Versions v16-v30)
3.2 VULNERABILITY OVERVIEW
3.2.1 UNCONTROLLED SEARCH PATH ELEMENT CWE-427
DriveTools and Drives AOP both contain a vulnerability that a local attacker
with limited privileges may be able to exploit resulting in privilege
escalation and complete control of the system.
CVE-2021-22665 has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3 base score of
7.5 has been calculated; the CVSS vector string is ( AV:L/AC:H/PR:L/UI:R/S:C/
o CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE SECTORS: Food and Agriculture, Transportation
Systems, Water and Wastewater Systems
o COUNTRIES/AREAS DEPLOYED: Worldwide
o COMPANY HEADQUARTERS LOCATION: United States
Claroty and Cognite reported this vulnerability to Rockwell Automation.
Rockwell Automation recommends users apply the latest update:
o DriveTools SP v5.14.41 or later
o Drives AOP v4.13.41 or later
Rockwell Automation recommends the following software/PC-based mitigation
strategies when running the affected products on a PC:
o Run all software as user, not as an administrator, to minimize the impact
of malicious code on the infected system.
o Use of Microsoft AppLocker or other similar allow list application can help
mitigate risk. Information on using AppLocker with Rockwell Automation
products is available at Knowledgebase Article ID 546989
o Ensure the least-privilege user principle is followed, and user/service
account access to shared resources (such as a database) is only granted
with a minimum number of rights as needed.
Rockwell Automation recommends the following general mitigations:
o Use trusted software, software patches, antivirus/antimalware programs and
interact only with trusted websites and attachments.
o Minimize network exposure for all control system devices and/or systems and
ensure that they are not accessible from the Internet. For further
information about the risks of unprotected Internet accessible control
systems, please see Knowledgebase Article ID PN715
o Locate control system networks and 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.
Please see more information on this issue in the Rockwell Automation industrial
security advisory titled Writable Path Directory in DriveTools SP and Drives
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.cisa.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.cisa.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. This
vulnerability is not exploitable remotely. High skill level is needed to
For any questions related to this report, please contact the CISA at:
Toll Free: 1-888-282-0870
CISA continuously strives to improve its products and services. You can help by
choosing one of the links below to provide feedback about this product.
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