Date: 30 March 2016
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AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
Cogent DataHub Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability
30 March 2016
AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
Product: Cogent DataHub
Operating System: Windows
Impact/Access: Increased Privileges -- Existing Account
CVE Names: CVE-2016-2288
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Cogent DataHub Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability
Original release date: March 24, 2016
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Steven Seeley of Source Incite has identified a privilege elevation
vulnerability in the Cogent DataHub application produced by Cogent Real-Time
Systems, Inc. Cogent has produced a new version to mitigate this
vulnerability. Steven Seeley has tested the new version to validate that it
resolves the vulnerability.
Cogent reports that the vulnerability affects the following products:
Cogent DataHub version 7.3.9 and prior.
Attackers could exploit this vulnerability to elevate their privileges from
guest or user to system.
Impact to individual organizations depends on many factors that are unique to
each organization. NCCIC/ICS-CERT recommends that organizations evaluate the
impact of this vulnerability based on their operational environment,
architecture, and product implementation.
Cogent is a Canadian-based company that produces middleware applications that
are used to interface with control systems.
The Cogent DataHub product is a real-time middleware solution and is deployed
across several sectors including Chemical, Commercial Facilities, Critical
Manufacturing, Energy, Financial Services, and others. This product is used
worldwide, but primarily in the United States and Great Britain.
IMPROPER PRIVILEGE MANAGEMENT [a]
Users or guests may escalate their privileges by changing an accessible file
on the system.
CVE2016-2288 [b] has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3 base score of
7.5 has been calculated; the CVSS vector string is
This vulnerability is not exploitable remotely and cannot be exploited without
user interaction. The exploit is only triggered when a local user runs the
vulnerable application and loads the malformed file.
EXISTENCE OF EXPLOIT
No known public exploits specifically target this vulnerability.
An attacker with a low skill would be able to exploit this vulnerability.
Cogent has fixed this vulnerability in Version 7.3.10 of DataHub. This is a
free upgrade for any user running V7.x. Cogent advises that users upgrade to
Cogent DataHub Version 7.3.10 from:
http://www.cogentdatahub.com/Download_Software.html (link is external)
ICS-CERT recommends that users take defensive measures to minimize the risk of
exploitation of these vulnerabilities. Specifically, users should:
Minimize network exposure for all control system devices and/or systems, and
ensure that they are not accessible from the Internet.
Locate control system networks and remote devices behind firewalls, and
isolate them from the business network.
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.
ICS-CERT recommends that users take the following measures to protect
themselves from social engineering attacks:
Do not click web links or open unsolicited attachments in email messages.
Refer to Recognizing and Avoiding Email Scams [d] for more information on
avoiding email scams.
Refer to Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks [e] for more
information on social engineering attacks.
ICS-CERT reminds organizations to perform proper impact analysis and risk
assessment prior to deploying defensive measures.
ICS-CERT also provides a section for control systems security recommended
practices on the ICS-CERT web page at:
http://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/content/recommended-practices. 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 in the ICSCERT Technical Information Paper,
ICS-TIP-12-146-01B--Targeted Cyber Intrusion Detection and Mitigation
Strategies, that is available for download from the ICS-CERT web site
Organizations observing any suspected malicious activity should follow their
established internal procedures and report their findings to ICS-CERT for
tracking and correlation against other incidents.
a. CWE-269: Improper Privilege Management,
http://cwe.mitre.org/data/definitions/269.html, web site last accessed March
b. NVD, http://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/vuln/detail?vulnId=CVE-2016-2288, NIST
uses this advisory to create the CVE web site report. This web site will be
active sometime after publication of this advisory.
c. CVSS Calculator,
web site last accessed March 24, 2016.
d. Recognizing and Avoiding Email Scams,
http://www.us-cert.gov/reading_room/emailscams_0905.pdf, web site last
accessed March 24, 2016.
e. National Cyber Alert System Cyber Security Tip ST04-014,
http://www.us-cert.gov/cas/tips/ST04-014.html, web site last accessed March
For any questions related to this report, please contact ICS-CERT at:
Email: email@example.com (link sends e-mail)
Toll Free: 1-877-776-7585
International Callers: (208) 526-0900
For industrial control systems security information and incident reporting:
ICS-CERT continuously strives to improve its products and services. You can
help by choosing one of the links below to provide feedback about this
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