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Alert (ICS-ALERT-11-333-01)

MICROSYS PROMOTIC Use-After-Free Vulnerability

Original release date: November 28, 2011 | Last revised: August 23, 2018

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Summary

ICS-CERT is aware of a public report of a use-after-free vulnerability with proof of concept (POC) exploit code affecting MICROSYS, spol. s r.o. PROMOTIC, a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) Human-Machine Interface (HMI) product. According to this report, the vulnerability is exploitable when the program loads a specially crafted project file. This report was released by Luigi Auriemma without coordination by ICS-CERT, the vendor, or any other coordination entity that ICS-CERT is aware of.

ICS-CERT has coordinated the report with the vendor, which is working to confirm the report and identify mitigations. ICS-CERT is issuing this alert to provide early notice of the report and identify baseline mitigations for reducing risks to these and other cybersecurity attacks.

The report included vulnerability details and proof-of-concept exploit code for the following vulnerability:

Vulnerability TypeExploitabilityImpact
Use-after-freeLocalPossible Arbitrary Code Execution

Please report any issues affecting control systems in critical infrastructure environments to ICS-CERT.

ICS-CERT is currently reaching out to both Microsys and Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT.CZ) to notify them of this vulnerability and assist them with mitigation.

Background

MICROSYS, spol. s r.o. is a Czech company with headquarters in Ostrava. Promotic is SCADA HMI software that includes support for a web interface and is designed for Microsoft Windows.a

Follow-Up

ICS-CERT released a follow-up advisory,  ICSA-12-102-03 - MICROSYS PROMOTIC Use-After-Free Vulnerability, to the ICS-CERT Web site on April 10, 2012.

Mitigation

ICS-CERT is currently coordinating with the vendor, security researcher, and CSIRT.CZ to identify mitigations.

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. Control system devices should not directly face the Internet.b
  • Locate control system networks and devices behind firewalls, and isolate them from the business network.
  • If remote access is required, employ secure methods such as Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), recognizing that VPN is only as secure as the connected devices.

ICS-CERT reminds organizations to perform proper impact analysis and risk assessment prior to taking defensive measures.

The Control System Security Program also provides a recommended practices section for control systems on the US-CERT website. Several recommended practices are available for reading or download, including Improving Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity with Defense-in-Depth Strategies.

Organizations that observe 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:

  1. Do not click web links or open unsolicited attachments in e-mail messages.
  2. Refer to Recognizing and Avoiding Email Scams for more information on avoiding e-mail scams.
  3. Refer to Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks for more information on social engineering attacks.


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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