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AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
Advisory (icsa-21-238-01) Johnson Controls Controlled
Electronic Management Systems CEM Systems AC2000
27 August 2021
AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
Product: Johnson Controls CEM Systems AC2000
Operating System: Network Appliance
Impact/Access: Unauthorised Access -- Remote/Unauthenticated
CVE Names: CVE-2021-27663
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ICS Advisory (ICSA-21-238-01)
Johnson Controls Controlled Electronic Management Systems CEM Systems AC2000
Original release date: August 26, 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 8.2
o ATTENTION: Exploitable remotely/low attack complexity
o Vendor: Controlled Electronic Management Systems Ltd., a subsidiary of
Johnson Controls Inc
o Equipment: CEM Systems AC2000
o Vulnerability: Improper Authorization
2. RISK EVALUATION
Under specific conditions, successful exploitation of this vulnerability could
allow a remote attacker access to the system without adequate authorization.
3. TECHNICAL DETAILS
3.1 AFFECTED PRODUCTS
Johnson Controls reports this vulnerability affects the following versions of
CEM Systems AC2000:
o Versions 10.1 through 10.5
This vulnerability applies only to users who have implemented Single Sign On
(SSO) and have installed the AC2000 Application Programming Interface (API).
3.2 VULNERABILITY OVERVIEW
3.2.1 IMPROPER AUTHORIZATION CWE-285
Under certain conditions, the application does not perform an adequate
authorization check for functionality that requires a provable user identity.
CVE-2021-27663 has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3 base score of
8.2 has been calculated; the CVSS vector string is ( AV:N/AC:L/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/
o CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE SECTORS: Commercial Facilities, Critical
o COUNTRIES/AREAS DEPLOYED: Worldwide
o COMPANY HEADQUARTERS LOCATION: Ireland
Johnson Controls, Inc., reported this vulnerability to CISA.
Johnson Controls recommends steps to minimize risks to applying a patch to all
affected versions and implementations. The fix will also be included in Version
10.5 Server Feature Pack 2, Version 10.6, and all future releases.
To access the patch, affected users should contact a CEM support team .
For more detailed mitigation instructions, please see Johnson Controls Product
Security Advisory JCI-PSA-2021-15 v1
Aligning with CISA recommendations, Johnson Controls recommends taking steps to
minimize risks to all building automation systems.
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.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.
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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