Feeds

Cisco bugs surrender control of building's critical systems

Security, HVAC, power systems ripe for plucking

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...
FYI this isn't just going to target Windows, Linux and OS X fans
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Home Office: Fancy flogging us some SECRET SPY GEAR?
If you do, tell NOBODY what it's for or how it works
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Syrian Electronic Army in news site 'hack' POP-UP MAYHEM
Gigya redirect exploit blamed for pop-rageous ploy
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Free virtual appliance for wire data analytics
The ExtraHop Discovery Edition is a free virtual appliance will help you to discover the performance of your applications across the network, web, VDI, database, and storage tiers.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.