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AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
Advisory (icsa-22-263-04) Host Engineering Communications Module
21 September 2022
AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
Product: Host Engineering Communications Module
Operating System: Network Appliance
CVE Names: CVE-2022-3228
Comment: CVSS (Max): 6.5 CVE-2022-3228 (CVSS:3.0/AV:A/AC:L/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:N/I:N/A:H)
CVSS Source: ICS-CERT
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ICS Advisory (ICSA-22-263-04)
Host Engineering Communications Module
Original release date: September 20, 2022
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,
referenced in this product or otherwise. Further dissemination of this product
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 6.5
o ATTENTION: Exploitable from adjacent network/low attack complexity
o Vendor: Host Engineering
o Equipment: H0-ECOM100 Communications Module
o Vulnerability: Stack-based Buffer overflow
2. RISK EVALUATION
Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could crash the device being
accessed, leading to a denial-of-service condition.
3. TECHNICAL DETAILS
3.1 AFFECTED PRODUCTS
The following firmware versions of H0-ECOM100 Communications Module, a module
to communicate with programmable logic controllers, are affected:
o Firmware v5.0.155 and prior
3.2 VULNERABILITY OVERVIEW
3.2.1 STACK-BASED BUFFER OVERFLOW CWE-121
Using custom code, an attacker can write into name or description fields on the
affected product larger than the appropriate buffer size causing a stack-based
buffer overflow. This may allow an attacker to crash the affected device or
cause it to become unresponsive.
CVE-2022-3228 has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3 base score of
6.5 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is ( AV:A/AC:L/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:N/
o CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE SECTORS: Critical Manufacturing
o COUNTRIES/AREAS DEPLOYED: Worldwide
o COMPANY HEADQUARTERS LOCATION: United States
David Formby and Caleb Purcell of Fortiphyd Logic reported this vulnerability
Host Engineering recommends the following to mitigate the risk:
To update the firmware in the H0-ECOM100 to version v5.0.156 or later, use the
free program utility called NetEdit3, downloadable from Host Engineering's
Website , then use the follow steps:
1. In the NetEdit3 software's menu, select File --> Download Newest Firmware
(Live Update).... This pulls up the Live Update dialog
2. In the Live Update dialog, press the <Go!> button, and the window will
indicate which files were uploaded and their storage locations (there are
3. Press the <OK> button to exit the Live Update dialog. Upon exiting this
dialog, NetEdit3 will scan the network for new devices and only the Host
Engineering Ethernet devices (like the H0-ECOM100) will respond and be
displayed in a list.
4. Host Engineering recommends ceasing all communication with the H0-ECOM100
before attempting to update its firmware. Specifically, the PLC in should
be placed in Stop mode and/or disconnecting all other devices, such as HMIs
or other ECOM100s, potentially communicating with it.
5. Once the list displays in NetEdit3, right-click H0-ECOM100 and select,
Update Firmware.... This will pull up an Open file dialog. However, in the
File name parameter, the latest firmware file will already be selected.
6. Press the <Open> button. This will pull up the Confirm Update dialog asking
a user to continue.
7. Press the <Yes> button to update the firmware.
CISA recommends users take defensive measures to minimize the risk of
exploitation of this vulnerability these vulnerabilities. Specifically, users
o Minimize network exposure for all control system devices and/or systems,
and ensure they are not accessible from the Internet .
o Locate control system networks and remote devices behind firewalls and
isolate them from business networks.
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 at cisa.gov/ics . Several CISA products detailing cyber
defense best practices are available for reading and download, including
Improving Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity with Defense-in-Depth
Additional mitigation guidance and recommended practices are publicly available
on the ICS webpage at cisa.gov/ics in the technical information paper,
ICS-TIP-12-146-01B--Targeted Cyber Intrusion Detection and Mitigation
Organizations observing suspected malicious activity should follow established
internal procedures and report 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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