Feeds

CERT warns of critical industrial control bug

Iconics SCADA software open to code execution attacks

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

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.

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.