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U.S. Department of Homeland Security Seal. ICS-CERT. Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team.

Advisory (ICSA-12-228-01A)

Tridium Niagara Vulnerabilities (Update A)

Original release date: August 12, 2013 | Last revised: March 06, 2014

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--------- Begin Update A Part 1 of 2 --------

This updated advisory is a follow-up to the original advisory titled ICSA-12-228-01 Tridium Niagara Multiple Vulnerabilities that was published August 15, 2012, on the ICS-CERT Web page. It is also a follow-up to ICS-ALERT-12-195-01 Tridium Niagara Directory Traversal and Weak Credential Storage Vulnerability that was published July 13, 2012, on the ICS-CERT Web page.

--------- End Update A Part 1 of 2 ----------

Independent security researchers Billy Rios and Terry McCorkle have identified multiple vulnerabilities in the Tridium Niagara AX Framework software. The vulnerabilities include directory traversal, weak credential storage, session cookie weaknesses, and predictable session IDs, all of which can be exploited remotely. Although not all technical details have been released, these vulnerabilities have been made public.

Tridium has issued a security alert,a and has produced a patch that Mr. Rios and Mr. McCorkle have validated fixes these vulnerabilities.


All known versions of the Tridium Niagara AX Framework software products are susceptible to these vulnerabilities.


Successfully exploiting these vulnerabilities will lead to data leakage and possible privilege escalation.

Impact to individual organizations depends on many factors that are unique to each organization. ICS‑CERT recommends that organizations evaluate the impact of these vulnerabilities based on their operational environment, architecture, and product implementation.


The Tridium Niagara AX software platform integrates different systems and devices, e.g., HVAC, building automation controls, telecommunications, security automation, machine‑to‑machine, lighting control, maintenance repair operations, service bureaus, and facilities management,b onto a single platform that can be managed and controlled over the Internet from a Web browser.

Tridium sells its products and services through multiple distribution channels, which include OEMs/resellers, independent systems integrators, and energy service companies. According to Tridium, more than 300,000 instances of Niagara AX Framework are installed worldwide.




By default, the Tridium Niagara AX software is not configured to deny access to restricted parent directories. This vulnerability allows a successful attacker to access the file that stores all system usernames and passwords. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending a specially crafted request to the Web server running on Port 80/TCP.

CVE-2012-4027d has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v2 base score of 5.0 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is AV:N/AC:L/Au:N/C:P/I:N/A:N.e


The system insecurely stores user authentication credentials, which are susceptible to interception and retrieval. User authentication credentials are stored in the Niagara station configuration file, config.bog, which is located in the root of the station folder.

CVE-2012-4028g has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v2 base score of 7.8 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is AV:N/AC:L/Au:N/C:C/I:N/A:N.h


Usernames and passwords are stored using Base64 encoding in a cookie within the default authentication configuration. This significantly lowers the difficulty of exploitation by an attacker. The user must take additional steps to configure stronger authentication.

CVE-2012-3025j has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v2 base score of 7.1 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is AV:N/AC:M/Au:N/C:N/I:C/A:N.k


The software generates a predictable session ID or key value, allowing an attacker to guess the session ID or key.

CVE-2012-3024m has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v2 base score of 7.1 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is (AV:N/AC:M/Au:N/C:N/I:C/A:N).n



These vulnerabilities can be exploited remotely.


Exploits that target some of these vulnerabilities are publicly available, although not all technical details have been released.


An attacker with a medium skill could exploit these vulnerabilities.


To mitigate the decoding of passwords listed in the config.bog file, Tridium recommends that security settings for file access be assigned only at the administrator level. Instructions for configuring these settings are included in the July 13 Security Alerto from Tridium. In addition, Tridium has issued a patch that prevents access to the config.bog file and backups of the file from network facing clients. The patch can be found at this URL:


--------- Begin Update A Part 2 of 2 --------

In addition to the security updates released by Tridium in August, 2012 and February, 2013 to address the issues in this advisory, Tridium has now issued a product update that further enhances the security of the Niagara AX Framework as part of the company’s normal product release process.

--------- End Update A Part 2 of 2 --------

ICS‑CERT encourages asset owners to take additional defensive measures to protect against this and other cybersecurity risks.

  • Minimize network exposure for all control system devices. Critical devices should not directly face 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 VPN is only as secure as the connected devices.

ICS-CERT also provides a section for control systems security recommended practices on the ICS-CERT Web page. Several recommended practices are available for reading and download, including Improving Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity with Defense-in-Depth Strategies.p ICS‑CERT reminds organizations to perform proper impact analysis and risk assessment prior to taking defensive measures.

Additional mitigation guidance and recommended practices are publicly available in the ICS‑CERT Technical Information Paper, ICS-TIP-12-146-01B—Targeted Cyber Intrusion Mitigation Strategies, which is available for download from the ICS-CERT Web site: http://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/.

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.

Contact Information

For any questions related to this report, please contact the NCCIC at:

Toll Free: 1-888-282-0870

For industrial control systems cybersecurity information:  http://ics-cert.us-cert.gov 
or incident reporting:  https://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/Report-Incident?

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