ICS Alert (ICS-ALERT-14-323-02)

Advantech AdamView Buffer Overflows

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NCCIC/ICS-CERT is aware of a public report of a buffer overflow vulnerability with proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit code affecting Advantech AdamView, a supervisory control and data acquisition/human-machine interface (SCADA/HMI) product. According to the report, the vulnerability is caused by incorrect sanitization of input parameters. The report was released following coordination with the vendor and ICS-CERT. ICS-CERT has notified the affected vendor of the report and has asked the vendor to confirm the vulnerability and identify mitigations. ICS-CERT is issuing the alert to provide early notice of the report and identify baseline mitigations for reducing risks to these and other cybersecurity attacks.

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

Vulnerability TypeRemotely ExploitableImpact
Buffer OverflowNoPossible Remote Code Execution

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

Daniel Kazimirow and Fernando Paez from Core Security Engineering Team discovered this buffer overflow vulnerabilitya in Advantech AdamView V4.3. Joaquín Rodríguez Varela from Core Advisories Team reported this to ICS-CERT, who coordinated with Advantech. The vendor has decided not to fix this vulnerability in AdamView, as it has not been supported for a while.

Advantech AdamView is an HMI Software for Data Acquisition software package for HMI and SCADA. The product is deployed across several sectors including Energy and Commercial Facilities. Advantech estimates that these products are used worldwide.

Advantech is based in Taiwan and has distribution offices in 21 countries worldwide.


The security researchers from Core Security recommend that users avoid opening untrusted .gni files. They also recommend the use of third-party software to prevent the exploitation of affected systems.

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.b
  • Locate control system networks and 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 taking defensive measures.

ICS-CERT also provides a recommended practices section for control systems on the ICS-CERT web site (http://ics-cert.us-cert.gov). 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.

  • aAdvantech AdamView Buffer Overflow, http://www.coresecurity.com/advisories/advantech-adamview-buffer-overflow web site last accessed November 19, 2014.
  • b.ICS-CERT ALERT, http://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/alerts/ICS-ALERT-10-301-01, web site last accessed November 19, 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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