ICS Advisory (ICSA-16-308-03)

Schneider Electric IONXXXX Series Power Meter Vulnerabilities

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This advisory is a follow-up to the alert titled ICS-ALERT-16-256-02 Schneider Electric ION Power Meter CSRF Vulnerability that was published September 12, 2016, on the NCCIC/ICS-CERT web site.

Independent researcher Karn Ganeshen has identified a cross-site request forgery (CSRF) and no access control vulnerabilities in Schneider Electric’s IONXXXX series power meters. Schneider Electric has produced instructions to mitigate these vulnerabilities.

These vulnerabilities could be exploited remotely.


The following IONXXXX series power meter versions are affected:

  • ION73XX series,
  • ION75XX series,
  • ION76XX series,
  • ION8650 series,
  • ION8800 series, and
  • PM5XXX series.


An unauthorized user can access the device management portal and make configuration changes.

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


Schneider Electric’s corporate headquarters is located in Paris, France, and maintains offices in more than 100 countries worldwide.

The affected products, IONXXXX series power meters, provide power and energy monitoring. According to Schneider Electric, these products are deployed across several sectors including Critical Manufacturing, Energy, Water and Wastewater Systems, and others. Schneider Electric estimates that these products are used worldwide.




There is no CSRF Token generated to authenticate the user during a session. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability can allow unauthorized configuration changes to be made and saved.

CVE-2016-5809b has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3 base score of 8.8 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is (AV:N/AC:L/PR:L/UI:N/S:U/C:H/I:HA:H).c


No authentication is configured by default. An unauthorized user can access the device management portal and make configuration changes.

CVE-2016-5815e has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3 base score of 8.1 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is (AV:N/AC:L/PR:L/UI:N/S:U/C:H/I:HA:N).f



These vulnerabilities could be exploited remotely.


No known public exploits specifically target these vulnerabilities.


An attacker with a low skill would be able to exploit these vulnerabilities.


Schneider Electric’s security notice SEVD-2016-256-02, is available at the following location:


Schneider Electric recommends the following mitigations:

  • Change configuration parameter by setting the “Webserver Config Access” register to “Disabled.” This register determines whether the user can configure the meter through a browser. Valid entries are Enable or Disable. This register is set to Enable by default.
  • Change the “Enable Webserver” register. This register enables or disables the webserver entirely. Values for this register are YES and NO. The web server is enabled by default (the value is set to YES). Some power meters may be revenue locked, which further protects unauthorized meter configuration parameter changes except Owner, Tag1, and Tag2 string registers.

ICS-CERT recommends that users take defensive measures to minimize the risk of exploitation of these vulnerabilities. Specifically, users should:

  • 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 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. 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.

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-352: Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF), https://cwe.mitre.org/data/definitions/352.html, web site last accessed November 3, 2016.
  • bNVD, https://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/vuln/detail?vulnId=CVE-2016-5809, 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:N/AC:L/PR:L/UI:N/S:U/C:H/I:H/A:H, web site last accessed November 3, 2016.
  • dCWE-284: Improper Access Control, https://cwe.mitre.org/data/definitions/284.html, web site last accessed November 3, 2016.
  • eNVD, https://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/vuln/detail?vulnId=CVE-2016-5815, NIST uses this advisory to create the CVE web site report. This web site will be active sometime after publication of this advisory.
  • fCVSS Calculator, https://www.first.org/cvss/calculator/3.0#CVSS:3.0/AV:N/AC:L/PR:L/UI:N/S:U/C:H/I:H/A:N, web site last accessed November 3, 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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