GE Proficy HMI/SCADA CIMPLICITY CimView Memory Access Violation
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This advisory was originally posted to the NCCIC/US-CERT secure Portal library on October 16, 2014, and is being released to the NCCIC/ICS-CERT web site.
Independent researcher Said Arfi has identified a memory access violation vulnerability in GE’s CIMPLICITY CimView application. GE has produced an update that mitigates this vulnerability.
The following GE product is affected:
- Proficy HMI/SCADA–CIMPLICITY, Version 8.2 and prior.
If this vulnerability is exploited, it could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary commands on a system running the affected software.
Impact to individual organizations depends on many factors that are unique to each organization. ICS-CERT recommends that organizations evaluate the impact of this vulnerability based on their operational environment, architecture, and product implementation.
GE is a US-based company that maintains offices in several countries around the world.
The affected product, Proficy HMI/SCADA–CIMPLICITY, is a Client/Server-based human-machine interface/supervisory control and data acquisition (HMI/SCADA) application. According to GE, Proficy HMI/SCADA–CIMPLICITY is deployed across multiple industries.
IMPROPER RESTRICTION OF OPERATIONS WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF A MEMORY BUFFERa
A vulnerability exists in CIMPLICITY CimView and CIMPLICITY CimEdit components in the way they process information stored in the CIMPLICITY screen (.CIM) files. A specially crafted .CIM file could potentially lead to a memory access violation and arbitrary code execution.
This vulnerability is not exploitable remotely and cannot be exploited without user interaction.
EXISTENCE OF EXPLOIT
No known public exploits specifically target this vulnerability.
An attacker with a moderate skill would be able to exploit this vulnerability.
GE recommends that asset owners apply product updates to Proficy HMI/SCADA–CIMPLICITY Versions 8.1 and 8.2. The following product updates address the memory access violation vulnerability:
Proficy HMI/SCADA – CIMPLICITY 8.1 SIM 29 (DN4219) available at:
Proficy HMI/SCADA–CIMPLICITY 8.2 SIM 26 (DN4197) available at:
In cases where upgrading is not feasible, GE advises asset owners using CIMPLICITY versions prior to 8.1 to consider using the following recommendations that may mitigate or eliminate the impact of the vulnerability:
- Take steps to properly secure and protect stored CIMPLICITY screen files (.CIM).
- Avoid using .CIM files received from unknown sources.
- Avoid sending unprotected .CIM files over unencrypted networks or public Internet.
- Consider using a strong hashing algorithm to validate integrity of created .CIM files and ensure they have not been tampered with over time.
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 Detection and Mitigation Strategies, that is available for download from the ICS-CERT web site (www.ics-cert.org).
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.
In addition, 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 Scamsd for more information on avoiding email scams.
- Refer to Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attackse for more information on social engineering attacks.
- a. CWE-119: Improper Restriction of Operations within the Bounds of a Memory Buffer, http://cwe.mitre.org/data/definitions/119.html, web site last accessed January 15, 2015.
- b. NVD, http://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/vuln/detail?vulnId=CVE-2014-2355, 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, http://nvd.nist.gov/cvss.cfm?version=2&vector=AV:L/AC:M/Au:S/C:C/I:C/A:C, web site last accessed January 15, 2015.
- d. Recognizing and Avoiding Email Scams, http://www.us-cert.gov/reading_room/emailscams_0905.pdf, web site last accessed January 15, 2015.
- e. National Cyber Alert System Cyber Security Tip ST04-014, http://www.us-cert.gov/cas/tips/ST04-014.html, web site last accessed January 15, 2015.
For any questions related to this report, please contact the NCCIC at:
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