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

Advisory (ICSA-16-159-01)

Trihedral Engineering Limited VTScada Vulnerabilities

Original release date: June 07, 2016 | Last revised: August 23, 2018

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An anonymous researcher has identified several vulnerabilities in Trihedral Engineering Ltd.’s Trihedral VTScada and reported them to Zero Day Initiative (ZDI), which reported them to NCCIC/ICS-CERT. Trihedral Engineering Ltd. has produced a new version to mitigate these vulnerabilities.

These vulnerabilities could be exploited remotely.


Trihedral Engineering Ltd. reports that these vulnerabilities affect the following product:

  • VTScada versions after Version 8 and before Version 11.2.02

These vulnerabilities only apply to the WAP interface (typically Port 9201/TCP/IP). Only a small fraction of the installed base of VTScada uses this legacy feature.


An attacker may exploit these vulnerabilities to download or view arbitrary files, or to cause the server to crash and not come back without being manually relaunched.

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


Trihedral Engineering Ltd. is a Canada-based company that maintains offices in the United States and the United Kingdom.

The affected product, VTScada (also known as VTS prior to 2013), is a Windows-based SCADA system with a web interface option. According to Trihedral Engineering Ltd, VTScada is deployed across Chemical, Critical Manufacturing, Communications, Energy, Food and Agriculture, Transportation Systems, Water and Wastewater Systems, and other sectors. Trihedral Engineering Ltd. estimates that this product is used primarily in North America and Europe.




The software can be caused to read outside the intended buffer, causing a crash.

CVE-2016-4523b has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3 base score of 7.5 has been calculated; the CVSS vector string is (AV:N/AC:L/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:N/I:N/A:H).c


An attacker can replace the path in a request to retrieve any file.

CVE-2016-4532e has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3 base score of 9.1 has been calculated; the CVSS vector string is (AV:N/AC:L/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:H/I:H/A:N).f


The software does not properly authenticate requests to read arbitrary files.

CVE-2016-4510h has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3 base score of 9.1 has been calculated; the CVSS vector string is (AV:N/AC:L/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:H/I:H/A:N).i



These vulnerabilities could be exploited remotely.


No known public exploits specifically target these vulnerabilities.


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


Trihedral Engineering Ltd. has created an updated software version (version 11.2.02) to address these vulnerabilities. This software update is available on Trihedral Engineering Ltd.’s FTP site:


Help file notes for upgrading VTScada/VTS can be found at:


If you have any questions or any difficulties with installing one of these updates, please call Trihedral Tech Support:



+44 (0) 1224 258910 for the United Kingdom

ICS-CERT recommends, as quality assurance, that users test the update in a test development environment that reflects their production environment prior to installation. In addition, users should:

  • 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 athttp://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.

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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