CERT warns of critical industrial control bug
Iconics SCADA software open to code execution attacks
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).
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.
Oh christ almighty, why?
ActiveX? Dumb idea!
Come on boys, you don't have to run Outlook on those industrial control systems so why bother with Windows ? Just because you never saw anything but a Windows PC in your life doesn't mean you shouldn't ask for some advice from someone who knows a few thing about computing.
We used to have to
Get a separate phone extension, assigned to the master PLC or PC SCADA controller with a bog-standard modem connection for dial-in purpose. However the actual extension line hung from the ceiling and terminated in a loop and an RJ-13 that was left unplugged. To plug it into the modem required two telephone calls to Security: one from the vendor and one from the engineer responsible for the system. When the work was done, the two phone call routine was repeated and modem unplugged. Kept wardrivers out.