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AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
Advisory (icsa-21-161-01) Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk Services Platform
11 June 2021
AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
Product: FactoryTalk Services Platform
Operating System: Network Appliance
Impact/Access: Increased Privileges -- Existing Account
Unauthorised Access -- Existing Account
CVE Names: CVE-2021-32960
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ICS Advisory (ICSA-21-161-01)
Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk Services Platform
Original release date: June 10, 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 8.5
o ATTENTION: Exploitable remotely
o Vendor: Rockwell Automation
o Equipment: FactoryTalk Services Platform
o Vulnerability: Protection Mechanism Failure
2. RISK EVALUATION
Successful exploitation of this vulnerability may allow remote, authenticated
users to bypass FactoryTalk Security policies that are based on a computer
3. TECHNICAL DETAILS
3.1 AFFECTED PRODUCTS
Rockwell Automation reports this vulnerability affects the following versions
of FactoryTalk Security, part of FactoryTalk Service Platform:
o FactoryTalk Services Platform v6.11 and earlier, if FactoryTalk Security is
enabled and deployed
3.2 VULNERABILITY OVERVIEW
3.2.1 PROTECTION MECHANISM FAILURE CWE-693
FactoryTalk Services Platform contains a vulnerability that may allow a remote,
authenticated attacker to bypass FactoryTalk Security policies based on the
computer name. If successfully exploited, this may allow an attacker to have
the same privileges as if they were logged on to the client machine.
CVE-2021-32960 has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3 base score of
8.5 has been calculated; the CVSS vector string is ( AV:N/AC:H/PR:L/UI:N/S:C/
o CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE SECTORS: Chemical, Commercial Facilities, Critical
Manufacturing, Energy, Government Facilities, Water and Wastewater Systems
o COUNTRIES/AREAS DEPLOYED: Worldwide
o COMPANY HEADQUARTERS LOCATION: United States
Rockwell Automation reported this vulnerability to CISA.
Rockwell Automation encourages those using the affected software to update to
FactoryTalk Services Platform v6.20 or later to address the associated risk.
Users who are unable to update are directed towards risk mitigation strategies
provided below and are encouraged, when possible, to combine these tactics with
the general security guidelines to employ multiple strategies simultaneously.
o When possible, do not utilize remote desktop connections.
o Use Microsoft Event Logger or similar event logging application to monitor
atypical remote desktop connections and disconnections. Information on
Setting up Windows Event Logs is available at Knowledgebase Article QA5965
Rockwell Automation recommends the following general security guidelines:
o Run all software as User, not as an Administrator, to minimize the impact
of malicious code on the infected system.
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.
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 VPN is
only as secure as the connected devices.
Please see the Rockwell Automation publication regarding this issue for more
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.
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.
CISA also 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.
No known public exploits specifically target this vulnerability. This
vulnerability has a high attack complexity.
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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