ICS Advisory (ICSA-19-302-01)

PHOENIX CONTACT Automation Worx Software Suite

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1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • CVSS v3 7.8
  • ATTENTION: Low skill level to exploit
  • Vendor: Phoenix Contact
  • Equipment: Automation Worx Software Suite
  • Vulnerability: Improper Input Validation

2. RISK EVALUATION

Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could compromise the availability, integrity, or confidentiality of an application programming workstation. Automated systems programmed using one of the affected products are not impacted.

3. TECHNICAL DETAILS

3.1 AFFECTED PRODUCTS

The following versions of the Automation Worx Software Suite are affected:

  • PC Worx Versions 1.86 and prior 
  • PC Worx Express Versions 1.86 and prior
  • Config+ Versions 1.86 and prior

3.2 VULNERABILITY OVERVIEW

3.2.1    IMPROPER INPUT VALIDATION CWE-20

A manipulated PC Worx or Config+ project file could lead to arbitrary code execution due to insufficient input data validation.

CVE-2019-16675 has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3 base score of 7.8 has been calculated; the CVSS vector string is (AV:L/AC:L/PR:N/UI:R/S:U/C:H/I:H/A:H).

3.3 BACKGROUND

  • CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE SECTORS: Communications, Critical Manufacturing, Information Technology
  • COUNTRIES/AREAS DEPLOYED: Worldwide 
  • COMPANY HEADQUARTERS LOCATION: Germany

3.4 RESEARCHER

9sg Security Team working with Trend Micro’s Zero Day Initiative reported this vulnerability to CISA. CERT@VDE coordinated this vulnerability with Phoenix Contact.

4. MITIGATIONS

Phoenix Contact is in the process of developing an updated version of this product. Prior to receiving the updated version, Phoenix Contact strongly recommends users exchange project files using only secure file exchange services, and that project files should not be exchanged via unencrypted email. Phoenix Contact expects the next version of the Automation Worx Suite to be available prior to the end of 2019, noting the upcoming release of Automation Worx Software Suite will have a more robust validation of arrays regarding dimension and the number of elements allowed during input data conversion. In addition, input data validation will be extended in order to strengthen defenses against manipulated project files. Additional preventative security measures will be enabled for the compiler settings as well. 

CISA recommends users take the following measures to protect themselves from social engineering attacks: 

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

CISA also provides a section for control systems security recommended practices on the ICS webpage on us-cert.gov. 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 webpage on us-cert.gov 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 CISA 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
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