Vulnerabilities / Threats
11/27/2012
02:26 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Thanksgiving SCADA Bug Hunt

Researcher scares up more than 20 SCADA vulnerabilities -- one in just seven minutes -- on Thanksgiving Day

A security researcher easily found 23 bugs in major SCADA products while roasting his turkey on Thanksgiving Day.

Aaron Portnoy, vice president of research at Exodus Intelligence, says he decided to dig up as many zero-day flaws in SCADA products as he could while his Thanksgiving dinner was in the oven. The plan: to report the bugs to ICS-CERT, which then would work with the vendors to get the bugs fixed.

It was the recent uptick in SCADA bug disclosures -- such as those of vulnerability sellers ReVuln -- that prompted Portnoy's holiday bug hunt. "We just recently took a shot at finding as many as we could to overlap with their discoveries and intend to report them all to the affected vendors so that issues in such critical infrastructure are not being sold on the open market," Portnoy says.

He found a remote code execution bug and a denial-of-service (DoS) flaw in Rockwell Automation SCADA products; three remote execution flaws and one DoS bug in Schneider Electric products; a DoS flaw in Indusoft SCADA products; eight DoS flaws in Realflex SCADA products; and three remote code execution bugs, two DoS, and three file vulnerabilities in Eaton Corp. products.

And cooking the turkey took way longer than rooting out the vulnerabilities: Portnoy found the first exploitable zero-day bug seven minutes after installing the software. "The most interesting thing about these bugs was how trivial they were to find," he says. It was harder to find the software to test than it was to discover the flaws in the software, he says.

It took the discovery of Stuxnet to shake up SCADA security. Finding SCADA vulnerabilities is all the rage today: Twenty times more software flaws have been discovered in industrial-control systems (ICS)/SCADA systems since Stuxnet's was unearthed in 2010. And Siemens, the vendor whose PLC system was Stuxnet's ultimate target, has patched 92 percent of reported vulnerabilities in its products over the past seven years, according to data gathered by Positive Technologies Security. Some 64 vulnerabilities were discovered and reported in industrial-control system products by the end of 2011, while only nine were reported between 2005 and 2011. And between January and August of this year, some 98 bugs were reported, according to Positive Technologies.

Portnoy plans to ask ICS-CERT to set up a repository of SCADA software product, or at the least a list, for researchers so they can vet the products under responsible disclosure practices.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add Your Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is Senior Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise Magazine, ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Flash Poll
Current Issue
Cartoon
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7392
Published: 2014-07-22
Gitlist allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands via shell metacharacters in a file name to Source/.

CVE-2014-2385
Published: 2014-07-22
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in the web UI in Sophos Anti-Virus for Linux before 9.6.1 allow local users to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the (1) newListList:ExcludeFileOnExpression, (2) newListList:ExcludeFilesystems, or (3) newListList:ExcludeMountPaths parameter t...

CVE-2014-3518
Published: 2014-07-22
jmx-remoting.sar in JBoss Remoting, as used in Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (JEAP) 5.2.0, Red Hat JBoss BRMS 5.3.1, Red Hat JBoss Portal Platform 5.2.2, and Red Hat JBoss SOA Platform 5.3.1, does not properly implement the JSR 160 specification, which allows remote attackers to exec...

CVE-2014-3530
Published: 2014-07-22
The org.picketlink.common.util.DocumentUtil.getDocumentBuilderFactory method in PicketLink, as used in Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (JBEAP) 5.2.0 and 6.2.4, expands entity references, which allows remote attackers to read arbitrary code and possibly have other unspecified impact via...

CVE-2014-4326
Published: 2014-07-22
Elasticsearch Logstash 1.0.14 through 1.4.x before 1.4.2 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands via a crafted event in (1) zabbix.rb or (2) nagios_nsca.rb in outputs/.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Where do information security startups come from? More important, how can I tell a good one from a flash in the pan? Learn how to separate ITSec wheat from chaff in this episode.