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

Advisory (ICSA-14-352-01)

Honeywell Experion PKS Vulnerabilities

Original release date: December 18, 2014 | Last revised: April 10, 2019

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Alexander Tlyapov, Gleb Gritsai, Kirill Nesterov, Artem Chaykin and Ilya Karpov of the Positive Technologies Research Team and Security Lab have identified vulnerabilities in Honeywell’s Experion Process Knowledge System (EPKS) application. Honeywell has produced several patch updates (R400.6, R410.6 and 430.6) that resolve these vulnerabilities.

These vulnerabilities could be exploited remotely.


The following Honeywell Experion PKS versions are affected:

  • All supported Experion PKS R40x versions prior to Experion PKS R400.6
  • All supported Experion PKS R41x versions prior to Experion PKS R410.6
  • All supported Experion PKS R43x versions prior to Experion PKS R430.2

Note - Experion PKS R311.2 is impacted by these vulnerabilities but is no longer supported by Honeywell. Customers running Experion PKS R311.2 should upgrade to a supported version of Experion PKS.


Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities could allow remote, unauthenticated attackers to execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable 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 these vulnerabilities based on their operational environment, architecture, and product implementation.


Honeywell EPKS is a distributed control system solution sold globally by Honeywell Process Solutions. EPKS is used for automation and control of industrial and manufacturing processes.

Honeywell’s integrated process automation EPKS consists of web-based SCADA systems. Experion PKS is deployed across several sectors including Chemical, Critical Manufacturing, Energy and Healthcare and Public Health.




Multiple heap-based buffer overflow vulnerabilities exist in the confd.exe, dual_onsrv.exe, hscodbcn.exe, and ripsd.exe modules, which could lead to possible remote code execution or denial of service.

CVE-2014-9187b has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v2 base score of 7.6 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is (AV:N/AC:H/Au:N/C:C/I:C/A:C).c


Multiple stack-based buffer overflow vulnerabilities were found in confd.exe, hscodbcn.exe and pscdasrv.exe modules that could lead to possible remote code execution, dynamic memory corruption, or denial of service.

CVE-2014-9189e has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v2 base score of 10.0 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is (AV:N/AC:L/Au:N/C:C/I:C/A:C).f


An arbitrary memory write vulnerability exists in the dual_onsrv.exe module that could lead to possible remote code execution or denial of service.

CVE-2014-5435h has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v2 base score of 9.3 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is (AV:N/AC:M/Au:N/C:C/I:C/A:C).i


A directory traversal vulnerability exists in the confd.exe module, which could lead to possible information disclosure.

CVE-2014-5436k 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).l


A file inclusion vulnerability exists in the confd.exe module, which could lead to accepting an arbitrary file into the function, and potential information disclosure or remote code execution.

CVE-2014-9186n 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:N/I:P/A:N).o



These vulnerabilities could be exploited remotely.


No known public exploits specifically target these vulnerabilities.


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


Honeywell currently supports EKPS Versions R400.6, R410.6, and 430.2.

Honeywell strongly encourages and recommends all customers running unsupported versions of EKPS prior to R400 to upgrade to a supported version.

Available patches that resolve the vulnerabilities are listed below:

Software Downloads

  • Experion Update Patch R400.6
  • Experion Update Patch R410.6
  • Experion Update Patch R430.2

Please contact your Honeywell technical support for registration and installation instructions for these patches at :



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 (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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