ICS Advisory (ICSA-16-026-01)

MICROSYS PROMOTIC Memory Corruption Vulnerability

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Security researcher Praveen Darshanam of Versa Networks has identified a memory corruption vulnerability in the MICROSYS, spol. s r.o. PROMOTIC application. MICROSYS has produced a new version to mitigate this vulnerability. The researcher has tested the new version to validate that it resolves the vulnerability.


MICROSYS reports that the vulnerability affects the following versions of PROMOTIC:

  • PROMOTIC versions prior to version 8.3.11


Exploitation of this vulnerability requires user interaction. An attacker who successfully exploits this vulnerability may be able to crash the browser and possibly execute arbitrary code.

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.


MICROSYS is a Czech-based company with headquarters in Ostrava.

The affected product, PROMOTIC, is a Microsoft Windows-based supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) human-machine interface (HMI) software programming suite for creating applications that monitor, control, and display technological processes. This suite also includes support for a web interface.

According to MICROSYS, PROMOTIC is deployed across several sectors including Critical Manufacturing, Energy, and Water and Wastewater Systems. The PROMOTIC system is primarily used in the Czech and Slovak Republics. It is also used in Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania.




This vulnerability is exploited when a valid user runs malicious HTML code. This may happen if they are tricked by a phishing attack or another social engineering method into visiting a malicious web site hosting this code.

CVE-2016-0869b has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3 base score of 5.0 has been calculated; the CVSS vector string is (AV:L/AC:L/PR:L/UI:R/S:U/C:N/I:N/A:H).c



This vulnerability is not exploitable remotely and cannot be exploited without user interaction. The exploit is only triggered when a local user runs the vulnerable application and loads the malformed HTML file.


No known public exploits specifically target this vulnerability.


Crafting a working exploit for this vulnerability would be simple. Social engineering is required to convince the user to accept the malformed HTML file. This decreases the likelihood of a successful exploit.


MICROSYS recommends that users with affected versions of PROMOTIC update their installations by downloading the latest version and installation instructions from the following MICROSYS web site:

http://www.promotic.eu/en/promotic/download/download.htm (link is external).

MICROSYS has produced a news release that contains additional information about new features and bug fixes for available stable and developmental PROMOTIC software versions:


ICS-CERT recommends that users take the following measures to protect themselves from social engineering attacks:

  • Do not click web links or open unsolicited attachments in email messages.
  • Refer to Recognizing and Avoiding Email Scamsd for more information on avoiding email scams.
  • Refer to Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attackse for more information on social engineering attacks.

ICS-CERT reminds organizations to perform proper impact analysis and risk assessment prior to deploying defensive measures.

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.

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-122: Heap-based Buffer Overflow, http://cwe.mitre.org/data/definitions/122.html, web site last accessed January 26, 2016.
  • bNVD, http://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/vuln/detail?vulnId=CVE-2016-0869, NIST uses this advisory to create the CVE web site report. This web site will be active sometime after publication of this advisory.
  • cCVSS Calculator, https://www.first.org/cvss/calculator/3.0#CVSS:3.0/AV:L/AC:L/PR:L/UI:R/S:U/C:N/I:N/A:H, web site last accessed January 26, 2016.
  • dRecognizing and Avoiding Email Scams, http://www.us-cert.gov/reading_room/emailscams_0905.pdf, web site last accessed January 26, 2016.
  • eNational Cyber Alert System Cyber Security Tip ST04-014, http://www.us-cert.gov/cas/tips/ST04-014.html, web site last accessed January 26, 2016.

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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