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 Executive 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 ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2012-2413
Published: 2014-10-20
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the ja_purity template for Joomla! 1.5.26 and earlier allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the Mod* cookie parameter to html/modules.php.

CVE-2012-5244
Published: 2014-10-20
Multiple SQL injection vulnerabilities in Banana Dance B.2.6 and earlier allow remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the (1) return, (2) display, (3) table, or (4) search parameter to functions/suggest.php; (5) the id parameter to functions/widgets.php, (6) the category parameter to...

CVE-2012-5694
Published: 2014-10-20
Multiple SQL injection vulnerabilities in Bulb Security Smartphone Pentest Framework (SPF) before 0.1.3 allow remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the (1) agentPhNo, (2) controlPhNo, (3) agentURLPath, (4) agentControlKey, or (5) platformDD1 parameter to frameworkgui/attach2Agents.p...

CVE-2012-5695
Published: 2014-10-20
Multiple cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities in Bulb Security Smartphone Pentest Framework (SPF) 0.1.2 through 0.1.4 allow remote attackers to hijack the authentication of administrators for requests that conduct (1) shell metacharacter or (2) SQL injection attacks or (3) send an SMS m...

CVE-2012-5696
Published: 2014-10-20
Bulb Security Smartphone Pentest Framework (SPF) before 0.1.3 does not properly restrict access to frameworkgui/config, which allows remote attackers to obtain the plaintext database password via a direct request.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.