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AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
Advisory (icsa-21-278-04) Honeywell Experion PKS and ACE Controllers
6 October 2021
AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
Product: Honeywell Experion PKS and ACE Controllers
Operating System: Network Appliance
Impact/Access: Execute Arbitrary Code/Commands -- Remote/Unauthenticated
Denial of Service -- Remote/Unauthenticated
Access Confidential Data -- Remote/Unauthenticated
CVE Names: CVE-2021-38399 CVE-2021-38397 CVE-2021-38395
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ICS Advisory (ICSA-21-278-04)
Honeywell Experion PKS and ACE Controllers
Original release date: October 05, 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
contained within. DHS does not endorse any commercial product or service,
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is governed by the Traffic Light Protocol (TLP) marking in the header. For more
information about TLP, see https://us-cert.cisa.gov/tlp/ .
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
o CVSS v3 10.0
o ATTENTION: Exploitable remotely/low attack complexity
o Vendor: Honeywell
o Equipment: Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS) C200, C200E, C300 and
o Vulnerabilities: Unrestricted Upload of File with Dangerous Type, Relative
Path Traversal, Improper Neutralization of Special Elements in Output Used
by a Downstream Component
2. RISK EVALUATION
Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities could lead to remote code
execution and denial-of-service conditions.
3. TECHNICAL DETAILS
3.1 AFFECTED PRODUCTS
The following versions of Experion PKS, a process control system, are affected:
o C200: All versions
o C200E: All versions
o C300 and ACE controllers: All versions
3.2 VULNERABILITY OVERVIEW
3.2.1 UNRESTRICTED UPLOAD OF FILE WITH DANGEROUS TYPE CWE-434
The affected product is vulnerable to unrestricted file uploads, which may
allow an attacker to remotely execute arbitrary code and cause a
CVE-2021-38397 has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3 base score of
10.0 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is ( AV:N/AC:L/PR:N/UI:N/S:C/C:H
3.2.2 IMPROPER NEUTRALIZATION OF SPECIAL ELEMENTS IN OUTPUT USED BY A
DOWNSTREAM COMPONENT CWE-74
The affected product is vulnerable to improper neutralization of special
elements in output, which may allow an attacker to remotely execute arbitrary
code and cause a denial-of-service condition.
CVE-2021-38395 has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3 base score of
9.1 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is ( AV:N/AC:L/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:N/
3.2.3 RELATIVE PATH TRAVERSAL CWE-23
The affected product is vulnerable to relative path traversal, which may allow
an attacker access to unauthorized files and directories.
CVE-2021-38399 has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3 base score of
7.5 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is ( AV:N/AC:L/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:H/
o CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE SECTORS: Critical Manufacturing
o COUNTRIES/AREAS DEPLOYED: Worldwide
o COMPANY HEADQUARTERS LOCATION: Canada
Rei Henigman and Nadav Erez of Claroty reported these vulnerabilities to CISA.
Honeywell recommends users follow all guidance in the Experion Network and
Security Planning Guide to prevent attacks by malicious actors.
Additional information can be found in Honeywell Support document
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 VPNs may have vulnerabilities and should be
updated to the most current version available. Also recognize VPN is only
as secure as its 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 these vulnerabilities.
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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