Feeds

Cisco bugs surrender control of building's critical systems

Security, HVAC, power systems ripe for plucking

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Cisco Systems has warned of serious vulnerabilities in a device that connects a building's ventilation, lighting, security, and energy supply systems so they can be controlled by IT workers remotely.

The networking giant on Wednesday urged users of the Cisco Network Building Mediator products to patch the vulnerabilities, which among other things allow adversaries to obtain administrative passwords. No authentication is required to read the system configuration files, making it possible for outsiders to take control of a building's most critical control systems.

"Successful exploitation of any of these vulnerabilities could result in a malicious user taking complete control over an affected device," a Cisco advisory stated. The notice also warned that the vulnerabilities are present in the legacy products from Richards-Zeta, the Cisco-acquired company that originally designed the system. The bugs were discovered during internal testing.

Another flaw makes it possible for low-level employees to gain full control of the device by accessing default administrative accounts. Other bugs allowed malicious insiders to intercept traffic as it travels between an administrator and the Building Mediator and to escalate limited privileges.

The device - which gathers a wealth of data in different formats and presents it in a single, easy-to-read panel - is part of Cisco's push to help customers use IT to automate and remotely control tasks that used to require manual procedures. That can save building operators plenty of money, but it also presents new threats, especially since the product is designed to seamlessly interact with larger power grids.

The advisory offers several workarounds and common-sense configuration settings, but it warns customers to proceed with care, since certain access ports and protocols are needed to ensure that the system runs correctly. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.