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Advisory (ICSA-14-238-01)

CG Automation Improper Input Validation

Original release date: August 26, 2014 | Last revised: September 06, 2018

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Researchers Adam Crain of Automatak and Chris Sistrunk of Mandiant have identified an improper input validation vulnerability in the CG Automation ePAQ-9410 Substation Gateway DNP3 protocol components. CG Automation has produced an updated software that mitigates this vulnerability. CG Automation has tested the updated software to validate that it resolves the vulnerability.

This vulnerability could be exploited remotely.


The following CG Automation products are affected:

  • ePAQ-9410 Substation Gateway, all versions.


Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could allow an attacker to affect the availability of the DNP3 Master Server software.

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.


CG Automation is a US-based company with other CG offices in several other countries around the world, including the US, UK, Netherlands, Italy, India, Germany, France, Czech Republic, China, and Australia.

The affected product, ePAQ-9410 Substation Gateway, is a gateway used in electric utility. According to CG Automation, ePAQ-9410 Substation Gateway is deployed across the Energy Sector. CG Automation estimates that this product is used primarily in the United States and Europe with a small percentage in Asia and South America.




The CG Automation Software DNP3 driver, used in the ePAQ-9410 Substation Gateway products, does not validate input correctly. An attacker could cause the software to go into an infinite loop by sending a specifically crafted TCP packet, causing the process to crash.

The following scoring is for IP-connected devices.

CVE-2014-0761b 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:N/A:C).c


The CG Automation Software DNP3 driver, used in the ePAQ-9410 Substation Gateway products, does not validate input correctly. An attacker could cause the software to go into an infinite loop, causing the process to crash. The system must be restarted manually to clear the condition.

The following scoring is for serial-connected devices.

CVE-2014-0762e has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v2 base score of 4.7 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is (AV:L/AC:M/Au:N/C:N/I:N/A:C).f



The IP-based vulnerability could be exploited remotely.

The serial-based vulnerability is not remotely exploitable. Local access to the serial-based outstation is required.


No known public exploits specifically target this vulnerability.


An attacker with a moderate skill could craft a TCP packet that would be able to exploit the vulnerability for an IP-based device.

An attacker with a high skill could exploit the serial-based vulnerability because physical access to the device or some amount of social engineering is required.


CG Automation has fixed this vulnerability with updated software. Users may obtain the updated software by downloading from this web address:


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 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 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. ICS-CERT reminds organizations to perform proper impact analysis and risk assessment prior to deploying 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, that 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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