ICS Advisory (ICSA-14-126-01A)

ABB Relion 650 Series OpenSSL Vulnerability (Update A)

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This updated advisory is a follow-up to the original advisory titled ICSA-14-126-01 ABB Relion 650 Series OpenSSL Vulnerability, that was published May 06, 2014, on the NCCIC/ICS-CERT web site.

ABB has identified an OpenSSL vulnerability in its Relion 650 series application and has issued maintenance Release 650 series Ver to mitigate this vulnerability.

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This vulnerability could be exploited remotely. Exploits that target this vulnerability are known to be publicly available.


The following ABB Relion versions are affected:

  • 650 series Ver 1.3.0


A missing bounds check in the handling of the TLS heartbeat extension can be used to reveal up to 64 kB of memory on a connected device. An attacker who successfully exploits this vulnerability may obtain the user credentials and cryptographic keys used to access the device.

Impact to individual organizations depends on many factors that are unique to each organization. NCCIC/ICS-CERT recommends that organizations evaluate the impact of this vulnerability based on their operational environment, architecture, and product implementation.


ABB is a Swiss-based company that maintains offices in several countries around the world. ABB develops products in multiple critical sectors that are deployed worldwide.

The affected product, 650 series Ver 1.3.0 family, provides protection, control, measurement, and supervision of power systems specifically supporting bay control, transformer protection, line distance protection, generator protection, busbar protection, and breaker protection. These products support the electrical sector SCADA systems.




The 650 series Ver 1.3.0 devices use the vulnerable version of OpenSSL 1.0.1c. This affects parts of the FTPS protocol and the tool access protocol. Both of these protocols are known to use the OpenSSL component.

CVE-2014-0160b has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v2 base score: 5.0 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is (AV:N/AC:L/Au:N/C:P/I:N/A:N).c



This vulnerability could be exploited remotely.


Exploits that target this vulnerability are publicly available.


An attacker with a moderate skill would be able to exploit this vulnerability.


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The ABB cybersecurity team has issued a Cyber Security Advisory and software maintenance Release 650 series Ver., in order to provide adequate protection to ABB 650 series customers. ABB recommends that this maintenance release be applied, based on customers risk assessment and exposure of the system.

For more information, please see the ABB Cyber Security Advisory on the ABB Cyber Security Alerts & Notifications web page at:


Contact your local ABB customer support to obtain patch and installation support.

--------- End Update A Part 2 of 2 ----------

If user-defined accounts have been used, the passwords of those should be changed. It is also advised that cryptographic keys are regenerated by temporarily changing IP-address or IEC61850 name of the device.

Additional information is available from the ABB service organizations listed at: http://www.abb.com/substationautomation

ICS-CERT encourages asset owners to take additional defensive measures to protect against this and other cybersecurity risks.

  • 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.

ICS-CERT also provides a section for control systems security recommended practices on the ICS-CERT web page at: http://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/content/recommended-practices. Several recommended practices are available for reading and download, including Improving Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity with Defense-in-Depth Strategies. ICS-CERT reminds organizations to perform proper impact analysis and risk assessment prior to deploying defensive measures.

Additional mitigation guidance and recommended practices are publicly available in the ICS‑CERT Technical Information Paper, ICS-TIP-12-146-01B--Targeted Cyber Intrusion Detection and Mitigation Strategies, that is available for download from the ICS-CERT web site (http://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/).

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

  • aCWE-119: Improper Restriction of Operations within the Bounds of a Memory Buffer, http://cwe.mitre.org/data/definitions/119.html, web site last accessed May 06, 2014.
  • bNVD, http://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/vuln/detail?vulnId=CVE-2014-0160, web site last accessed May 06, 2014.
  • cCVSS Calculator, http://nvd.nist.gov/cvss.cfm?version=2&vector=AV:N/AC:L/Au:N/C:P/I:N/A:N, web site last visited May 06, 2014.

Contact Information

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

Email: CISAservicedesk@cisa.dhs.gov
Toll Free: 1-888-282-0870

For industrial control systems cybersecurity information:  https://us-cert.cisa.gov/ics 
or incident reporting:  https://us-cert.cisa.gov/report

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