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TLP:WHITE

Advisory (ICSA-16-182-01)

Eaton ELCSoft Programming Software Memory Vulnerabilities

Original release date: June 30, 2016

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OVERVIEW

Ariele Calgaviano working with Zero Day Initiative has identified a heap-based memory corruption vulnerability and a stack buffer overflow vulnerability in Eaton’s ELCSoft programming software. Eaton has released a revision to mitigate these vulnerabilities.

These vulnerabilities could be exploited remotely.

AFFECTED PRODUCTS

The following ELCSoft programming software versions are affected:

  • ELCSoft Version 2.4.01 and earlier.

IMPACT

An attacker may be able to exploit these vulnerabilities to execute arbitrary code on the target 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.

BACKGROUND

Eaton is a US-based company that maintains offices worldwide.

The affected product, ELCSoft programming software, is used to configure all Eaton ELC programmable logic controllers deployed by power grid operators to apply protection and communications support for overcurrent devices such as reclosers and circuit breakers. According to Eaton, this product is used primarily in the Energy sector. Eaton estimates this product is used worldwide. While the ELC controllers themselves do not exhibit this vulnerability, the PCs used to configure the logic in the ELC exhibit this vulnerability when running the ELCSoft editor.

VULNERABILITY CHARACTERIZATION

VULNERABILITY OVERVIEW

HEAP-BASED BUFFER OVERFLOWa

A proof-of-concept file can be run after page heap is turned on for elcsoft.exe.

CVE-2016-4509b has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3 base score of 6.0 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is (AV:N/AC:H/PR:L/UI:N/S:C/C:L/I:L/A:L).c

STACK-BASED BUFFER OVERFLOWd

The ELCSimulator copies the input network packet into a fixed size stack buffer without checking if it will fit.

CVE-2016-4512e has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3 base score of 7.3 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is (AV:N/AC:L/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:L/I:L/A:L).f

VULNERABILITY DETAILS

EXPLOITABILITY

These vulnerabilities could be exploited remotely.

EXISTENCE OF EXPLOIT

No known public exploits specifically target these vulnerabilities.

DIFFICULTY

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

MITIGATION

Eaton has released a revision that mitigates these vulnerabilities. The revision can be downloaded at:

https://eatonfilesharing.box.com/s/r4ulykfay2x5nlai9pqijivdh1zyks98.

Eaton states the current firmware needs to be uninstalled prior to loading the update.

ICS-CERT recommends that users take defensive measures to minimize the risk of exploitation of these vulnerabilities. Specifically, 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 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.


Contact Information

For any questions related to this report, please contact the NCCIC at:

Email: NCCICCUSTOMERSERVICE@hq.dhs.gov
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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