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Advisory (ICSA-15-176-02)

PACTware Exceptional Conditions Vulnerability

Original release date: June 25, 2015

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OVERVIEW

Ivan Sanchez from Nullcode Team has identified a handling of exceptional conditions vulnerability in PACTware Consortium’s PACTware application. PACTware Consortium has produced a new service pack that mitigates this vulnerability. Ivan Sanchez has tested the new version to validate that it resolves the vulnerability.

AFFECTED PRODUCTS

The following PACTware versions are affected:

  • PACTware Version 4.1, Service Pack 3.

IMPACT

Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could crash the application.

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.

BACKGROUND

PACTware Consortium is a union of international companies that develop a common software for operating field instruments. PACTware Consortium is based in Germany.

The affected product, PACTware, is a fieldbus-independent software for operating field instruments. According to PACTware Consortium, PACTware is deployed across most sectors. PACTware Consortium estimates that PACTware is used worldwide.

VULNERABILITY CHARACTERIZATION

VULNERABILITY OVERVIEW

IMPROPER CHECK OR HANDLING OF EXCEPTIONAL CONDITIONSa

Uploading a specially crafted file could result in an internal error that is not handled correctly, which may cause the application to crash.

CVE-2015-0989b has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v2 base score of 1.2 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is (AV:L/AC:H/Au:N/C:N/I:N/A:P).c

VULNERABILITY DETAILS

EXPLOITABILITY

This vulnerability is not exploitable remotely and cannot be exploited without user interaction.

EXISTENCE OF EXPLOIT

No known public exploits specifically target this vulnerability.

DIFFICULTY

Crafting a working exploit for this vulnerability would be difficult. Social engineering is required to convince the user to accept the malformed file. Additional user interaction is needed to load the malformed file. This decreases the likelihood of a successful exploit.

MITIGATION

PACTware Consortium has released a new service pack of the PACTware application that resolves the vulnerability. PACTware Consortium recommends upgrading to PACTware Version 4.1, Service Pack 4.

Contact PACTware Consortium for Service Pack 4. PACTware Consortium’s contact information is available at the following URL:

http://www.pactware.com/en/contact.html

PACTware Consortium’s main download page is at the following URL:

http://www.pactware.com/en/downloads/pactware.html

ICS-CERT recommends that users take defensive measures to minimize the risk of exploitation of this vulnerability. Specifically, users should consider the following:

  • Do not upload untrusted files to the PACTware application without verifying the integrity of files.
  • Interact with and only obtain files, software, and software patches from trustworthy highly reputable sources.
  • Limit access to those assets using the PACTware application to authorized personnel.
  • Restrict network access to assets using the PACTware application, as appropriate.
  • Ensure that employees with access to the PACTware application are fully aware of the ongoing potential for social engineering attacks and are trained to identify and protect themselves from social engineering attacks.
  • 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 reminds organizations to perform proper impact analysis and risk assessment prior to deploying defensive measures.

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.

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.

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.


Contact Information

For any questions related to this report, please contact ICS-CERT at:

Email: ics-cert@hq.dhs.gov
Toll Free: 1-877-776-7585
International Callers: (208) 526-0900

For industrial control systems security information and incident reporting: http://ics-cert.us-cert.gov

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