ICS Advisory (ICSA-18-331-02)

Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk Services Platform

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1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • CVSS v3 7.5
  • ATTENTION: Exploitable remotely/low skill level to exploit
  • Vendor: Rockwell Automation
  • Equipment: FactoryTalk Services Platform
  • Vulnerability: Heap-based Buffer Overflow

2. REPOSTED INFORMATION

This advisory was originally posted to the HSIN ICS-CERT library on November 27, 2018, and is being released to the NCCIC/ICS-CERT website.

3. RISK EVALUATION

Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could allow a remote attacker to diminish communications or cause a complete denial of service to the device.

4. TECHNICAL DETAILS

4.1 AFFECTED PRODUCTS

The following versions of FactoryTalk Services Platform, a services-oriented architecture platform, are affected:

  • FactoryTalk Services Platform, v2.90 and earlier.

4.2 VULNERABILITY OVERVIEW

4.2.1    HEAP-BASED BUFFER OVERFLOW CWE-122

A remote unauthenticated attacker could send numerous crafted packets to service ports resulting in memory consumption that could lead to a partial or complete denial-of-service condition to the affected services.
CVE-2018-18981 has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3 base score of 7.5 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is (AV:N/AC:L/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:N/I:N/A:H).

4.3 BACKGROUND

  • CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE SECTORS: Food and Agriculture, Transportation Systems, and
    Water and Wastewater Systems
  • COUNTRIES/AREAS DEPLOYED: Worldwide
  • COMPANY HEADQUARTERS LOCATION: United States

4.4 RESEARCHER

Andrey Zhukov reported this vulnerability to NCCIC.

5. MITIGATIONS

Rockwell Automation recommends that affected users update to the latest version of the application. The latest version can be found at the following link:

https://compatibility.rockwellautomation.com/Pages/MultiProductDownload.aspx?Keyword=FTSP&crumb=112

For more information see Rockwell Automation security advisory 1074747.

Rockwell Automation recommends the following practices to secure this and other control systems devices:

  • Run all software as user, not as an administrator, to minimize the impact of malicious code on the infected system.
  • Employ training and awareness programs to educate users on the warning signs of a phishing or social engineering attack.
  • Refer to 546987—Rockwell Automation Customer Hardening Guidelines for the latest published guidelines for PC hardening and software security.
  • Use of Microsoft AppLocker or other similar whitelisting application can help mitigate risk. Information on using AppLocker with Rockwell Automation products is available here (login required): 
    https://rockwellautomation.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/546989
  • Ensure that the least-privilege user principle is followed, and user/service account access to shared resources (such as a database) is only granted with a minimum amount of rights as needed.
  • Use trusted software, software patches, and anti-virus/anti-malware programs.
  • Minimize network exposure for all control system devices and/or systems, and confirm that they are not accessible from the Internet.
  • Locate control system networks and devices behind firewalls, and isolate them from the enterprise network.
  • When remote access is required, use secure methods, such as virtual private networks (VPNs), recognizing that VPNs may have vulnerabilities and should be updated to the most current version available. Also recognize that VPN is only as secure as the connected devices they are installed in.

NCCIC recommends users take defensive measures to minimize the risk of exploitation of this vulnerability. Specifically, users should:

  • Minimize network exposure for all control system devices and/or systems, and ensure that they are not accessible from the Internet.
  • Locate control system networks and remote devices behind firewalls, and isolate them from the business network.
  • When remote access is required, use secure methods, such as Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), recognizing that VPNs may have vulnerabilities and should be updated to the most current version available. Also recognize that VPN is only as secure as the connected devices.

NCCIC reminds organizations to perform proper impact analysis and risk assessment prior to deploying defensive measures.

NCCIC also provides a section for control systems security recommended practices on the ICS-CERT web site. Several recommended practices are available for reading and download, including Improving Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity with Defense-in-Depth Strategies.

Additional mitigation guidance and recommended practices are publicly available on the ICS-CERT web site in the Technical Information Paper, ICS-TIP-12-146-01B--Targeted Cyber Intrusion Detection and Mitigation Strategies.

Organizations observing any suspected malicious activity should follow their established internal procedures and report their findings to NCCIC for tracking and correlation against other incidents.

No known public exploits specifically target this vulnerability.


Contact Information

For any questions related to this report, please contact the NCCIC at:

Email: NCCICCUSTOMERSERVICE@hq.dhs.gov
Toll Free: 1-888-282-0870

For industrial control systems cybersecurity information:  http://ics-cert.us-cert.gov 
or incident reporting:  https://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/Report-Incident?

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