ICS Alert (ICS-ALERT-12-020-06)

WellinTech KingSCADA Insecure Password Encryption

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ICS-CERT is aware of a public report of an insecure password encryption vulnerability with proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit code affecting Wellintech KingSCADA 3.0, a supervisory control and data acquisition/human-machine interface (SCADA/HMI) product. According to this report, the vulnerability is exploitable by decoding the password file. This report was released by Digital Security Research Group without coordination with either the vendor or ICS-CERT.

ICS-CERT has notified WellinTech of this report and has asked the vendor to confirm the vulnerability and identify mitigations. ICS-CERT is issuing this alert to provide preliminary notice of the reported vulnerable products and to begin identifying baseline mitigations that can reduce the risk of cybersecurity attacks exploiting these vulnerabilities.

The report included vulnerability details and PoC exploit code for the following vulnerability:

Vulnerability TypeExploitabilityImpact
Insecure Password EncryptionLocalAbility to log into HMI

Please report any issues affecting control systems in critical infrastructure environments to ICS-CERT.

WellinTech is a software development company specializing in the Automation and Control industry based in Beijing, China. According to WellinTech, they also have branches in United States, Japan, Singapore, Europe, and Taiwan.

According to the WellinTech website, KingSCADA is a Windows-based control, monitoring, and data collection application used across several industries including power, water, building automation, mining, and other sectors.


ICS-CERT released a follow-up advisory, ICSA-12-129-01 - WellinTech KingSCADA Insecure Password Encryption, to the ICS-CERT web page on May 08, 2012.


ICS-CERT is currently coordinating with WellinTech and the security researcher to identify useful mitigations.

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. Control system devices should not directly face the Internet.a
  • Locate control system networks and devices behind firewalls, and isolate them from the business network.
  • If remote access is required, employ secure methods, such as Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), recognizing that VPN is only as secure as the connected devices.

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

The Control Systems Security Program (CSSP) also provides a recommended practices section for control systems on the US-CERT website. Several recommended practices are available for reading or download, including Improving Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity with Defense-in-Depth Strategies.

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

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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