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Advisory (ICSA-16-196-03)

Schneider Electric SoMachine HVAC Unsafe ActiveX Control Vulnerability

Original release date: July 14, 2016 | Last revised: August 23, 2018

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OVERVIEW

Andrea Micalizzi discovered an unsafe ActiveX control vulnerability in Schneider Electric’s SoMachine software. He reported this vulnerability to ZDI who then reported it to NCCIC/ICS‑CERT. Schneider Electric has produced a patch to mitigate this vulnerability.

This vulnerability could be exploited remotely.

AFFECTED PRODUCTS

Schneider Electric reports that the vulnerability affects the following products:

  • SoMachine HVAC-Application Version 2.0.2 and previous.

IMPACT

An exploitation of this vulnerability may allow an attacker to remotely execute arbitrary code.

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.

BACKGROUND

Schneider Electric’s corporate headquarters is located in Paris, France, and it maintains offices in more than 100 countries worldwide.

The affected product, SoMachine, is software for developing, configuring, and commissioning a machine in a single software environment, including logic, motion control, HMI, and related network automation functions. According to Schneider Electric, SoMachine is deployed in the Commercial Facilities sector. Schneider Electric estimates that this product is used worldwide.

VULNERABILITY CHARACTERIZATION

VULNERABILITY OVERVIEW

UNSAFE ACTIVEX CONTROL MARKED SAFE-FOR-SCRIPTINGa

An ActiveX control is intended for restricted use, but it has been marked as safe-for-scripting.

CVE-2016-4529b has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3 base score of 7.3 has been calculated; the CVSS vector string is (AV:N/AC:L/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:L/I:L/A:L).c

VULNERABILITY DETAILS

EXPLOITABILITY

This vulnerability could be exploited remotely.

EXISTENCE OF EXPLOIT

No known public exploits specifically target this vulnerability.

DIFFICULTY

An attacker with a low skill would be able to exploit this vulnerability.

MITIGATION

Schneider Electric has released a patch that resolves the vulnerability. Schneider Electric’s patch is available at the following location:

http://www.schneider-electric.com/ww/en/download/document/SoMachine%20HVAC%20-%20Programming%20Software%20for%20Modicon%20M171-M172%20Logic%20Controllers

Schneider Electric’s security notice SEVD-2016-161-01 is available at the following location:

http://download.schneider-electric.com/files?p_Doc_Ref=SEVD-2016-161-01

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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