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Advisory (ICSA-17-353-01)

ABB Ellipse

Original release date: December 19, 2017

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CVSS v3 6.5

ATTENTION: Remotely exploitable/low skill level to exploit.

Vendor: ABB

Equipment: Ellipse

Vulnerability: Unprotected Transport of Credentials

AFFECTED PRODUCTS

ABB reports that the vulnerability affects Ellipse 8.3 through Ellipse 8.9 released prior to December 2017 (including Ellipse Select).

IMPACT

Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could allow an attacker to discover authentication credentials by sniffing the network traffic.

MITIGATION

ABB has released the following product updates to mitigate the vulnerability:

  • Ellipse 8.5.26 Release 7, Dec 2017
  • Ellipse 8.6.21 Release 5, Dec 2017
  • Ellipse 8.7.18 Release 7, Dec 2017
  • Ellipse 8.8.12 Release 7, Dec 2017
  • Ellipse 8.9.6 Release 7, Dec 2017

Please see ABB Cyber Security Advisory number Ellipse201703 for more information about this vulnerability, as well as additional mitigations and workarounds at the following location:

http://search-ext.abb.com/library/Download.aspx?DocumentID=9AKK107045A7341&Action=Launch

NCCIC/ICS-CERT recommends that users take defensive measures to minimize the risk of exploitation of this vulnerability. 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. 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.

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.

No known public exploits specifically target this vulnerability.

VULNERABILITY OVERVIEW

A vulnerability exists in the authentication of Ellipse to LDAP/AD using the LDAP protocol. An attacker could exploit the vulnerability by sniffing local network traffic, allowing the discovery of authentication credentials.

CVE-2017-16731 has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3 base score of 6.5 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is (AV:A/AC:L/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:H/I:N/A:N).

RESEARCHER

ABB self-reported the vulnerability to ICS-CERT.

BACKGROUND

Critical Infrastructure Sectors: Critical Manufacturing, Energy

Countries/Areas Deployed: Worldwide

Company Headquarters Location: Switzerland


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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