Feeds

CERT warns of critical industrial control bug

Iconics SCADA software open to code execution attacks

Build a business case: developing custom apps

A group collaborating with the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team is warning oil refineries, power plants, and other industrial facilities of a bug in a popular piece of software that could allow attackers to take control of their computer systems.

The vulnerability in the Genesis32 and BizViz products made by Massachusetts-based Iconics could allow attackers to remotely execute malicious code on machines that run these SCADA, or supervisory control and data acquisition, programs, the Industrial Control Systems CERT warned (PDF) on Wednesday. The programs are used to control equipment used in factories, water, wastewater and electric utilities, and oil and gas refineries.

The vulnerability stems from a stack-overflow bug found in an ActiveX control used by the SCADA programs and can be exploited to gain command-execution capability, researchers from Australasia-based Security-Assessment.com warned (PDF).

“By passing a specially crafted string to the 'SetActiveXGUID' method, it is possible to overflow a static buffer and execute arbitrary code on the user's machine with the privileges of the logged on user,” the researchers warned. They included a proof-of-concept exploit written in JavaScript.

Iconics has updated the vulnerable component to plug the security hole. According to the advisory, version 9.22 of Genesis32 and BizViz isn't susceptible to the attack.

US CERT recommends that users of SCADA software take basic precautions to protect themselves from security breaches. The measures include isolating critical devices from the internet and locating networks and remote devices behind firewalls.

Research from last year that suggested state-sponsored hackers attempted to disrupt Iran's nuclear-enrichment efforts by exploiting SCADA vulnerabilities has brought new urgency to security in industrial settings. ®

This story was updated to clarify the CERT group that issued the report.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Know what Ferguson city needs right now? It's not Anonymous doxing random people
U-turn on vow to identify killer cop after fingering wrong bloke
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.