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

Advisory (ICSA-13-036-01A)

Wonderware Intelligence Tableau Server Ruby on Rails Improper Input Validation (Update A)

Original release date: February 21, 2013 | Last revised: May 01, 2013

Legal Notice

All information products included in http://ics-cert.us-cert.gov 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 http://www.us-cert.gov/tlp/.


This updated advisory was orignally posted to the US-CERT secure Portal library on February 5, 2013, and is now being released to the ICS-CERT Web page.

Mitigation details for multiple vulnerabilities that impact third-party software integrated into the Invensys Wonderware Intelligence product are provided.  Exploitation of these vulnerabilities could allow loss of availability, integrity, and confidentiality.

Invensys Wonderware has become aware of input validation and permissions, privileges, and access controls vulnerabilities in Ruby on Rails that was discovered by research Aaron Patterson.  Ruby on Rails is an open source Web framework that is used by Tableau Server Software, which is a third-party component, shipped with Invensys Wonderware Intelligence.

These vulnerabilities can be exploited remotely.  Successful exploit of these vulnerabilities could affect Wonderware Intelligence products deployed in the manufacturing, energy, water and wastewater, healthcare, and building automation sectors.

Invensys Wonderware has produced a new product version and confirmed that it resolves the reported vulnerabilities.

Affected Products

  • Tableau Server of Wonderware Intelligence up to 1.5 SP1 (that corresponds to Tableau Server version up to 7.0.12).


Successful attacts could result in unauthorized disclosure of information, unauthorized modification, and disruption of service in an unsecure deployment.

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


Wonderware is a real-time operations management software distributed by Invensys.  Invensys provides automation and information technologies and systems.

According to Invensys, Wonderware Intelligence is deployed across several industries including manufacturing, building automation, water and wastewater, healthcare, and the energy sector.  Invensys states that these products are used worldwide.

Vulnerability Characterization

Vulnerability Overview

Permissions, Privileges, and Access Controls1

Ruby on Rails 3.0.x before 3.0.19, 3.1.x before 3.1.10, and 3.2.x before 3.2.11 does not properly consider differences in parameter handling between the Active Record component and the JSON implementation.  This difference in parameter handling allows remote attackers to bypass intended database-query restrictions and perform NULL checks or trigger missing WHERE clauses via a crafter request, as demonstrated by certain "[nil]" values.

CVE-2013-01552 has been assigned to this vulnerability.  A CVSS v2 base score of 6.4 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is (A V:N/AC:L/Au:N/C:P/I:P/A:N).

Input Validation3

Ruby on Rails before 2.3.15, 3.0.x before 3.0.19, 3.1.x before 3.1.10, and 3.2.x before 3.2.11 does not properly restrict casts of string values. By leveraging Action Pack support for (1) YAML type conversion or (2) Symbol type conversion, an attacker can conduct object-injection attacks and execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service involving nested XML entity references.

CVE-2013-01564 has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v2 base score of 7.5 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is (AV:N/AC:L/Au:N/C:P/I:P/A:P).

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

Vulnerability Details


These vulnerabilities are remotely exploitable.

Existence of Exploit

No known public exploits specifically target these vulnerabilities.


An attacker with a low skill would be able to exploit these vulnerabilities.


Invensys recommends customers using any version of Wonderware Intelligence up to 1.5 SP1 to apply the security update to all systems where the Tableau Dashboard Server is installed. The process consists of uninstalling the Dashboard Server and installing the new version. The Server configuration and published dashboards will be preserved during the installation of the new version.

Customers currently using a version older than 1.5 SP1 are required to obtain a new license. Please contact Invensys for more information.
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 US-CERT Web page. Several recommended practices are available for reading and download, including Improving Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity with Defense-in-Depth Strategies. 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 Detection and Mitigation Strategies.

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?

The NCCIC continuously strives to improve its products and services. You can help by choosing one of the links below to provide feedback about this product.

Was this document helpful?  Yes  |  Somewhat  |  No

Back to Top