Security Market Segment LS
Thursday, 11 July 2019 10:54

Tenable finds numerous flaws in major ICS vendors' offerings

Tenable finds numerous flaws in major ICS vendors' offerings Image by slightly_different from Pixabay

Security outfit Tenable Research has released details of 12 vulnerabilities it discovered in industrial control systems made by Siemens, Fuji, Schneider Electric, and Rockwell Automation over the last nine months, with the latest being a hole in the Siemens TIA Portal discovered this month.

Exploits have also been released for these vulnerabilities, all of which have been patched.

The TIA Portal flaw allowed an attacker to remotely force a malicious firmware update and execute code, modify user permissions or change application proxy settings.

Tenable's Joseph Bingham said in a blog post that these vulnerabilities in what were top-tier software systems indicated a lack of security standards in modern SCADA software.

"The attack scenario cannot be understated as critical systems such as power, water, transportation, and manufacturing all rely on major PLC [programmable logic controller] vendors," he added.

While two flaws found in Fuji Electric's TELLUS and V-Server were rated medium, Tenable found six vulnerabilities in Schneider Electric's Indusoft Web Studio all of which were rated critical and exploitable remotely.

Five flaws were found in Schneider's Modicum Quantum PLC, two of which were rated critical, and three critical vulnerabilities were also discovered in Rockwell Automation RS Linx, all of which were susceptible to remote attack.

Bingham also outlined the way an attack could be staged on a nuclear plant, pointing out that Stuxnet virus, a joint US-Israeli effort to sabotage Iran's nuclear weapons program, needed only three new vulnerabilities to spread through an isolated network and damage centrifuges.

"Vulnerabilities are easy to find in ICS software and hardware and come with a heavy cost to systems that rely on the stability and security of these solutions," he said.

"Mitigation efforts and barriers to malicious actors can always be overcome with enough time or money."

And, he added, "All critical infrastructure is vulnerable under the right circumstances. If your organisation utilises hard or soft targets with operational technology, take the necessary precautions and keep vendors accountable for security flaws."

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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