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NCCIC/ICS-CERT is aware of a public report of a hard-coded password vulnerability with proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit code affecting KACO HMI products. According to this report, the password is easily found in the client code. This report was released before coordination could be completed 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 this 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 Type||Remotely Exploitable||Impact|
|Hard-coded password||Yes||Possible Remote Code Execution|
This vulnerability was discovered by Aditya K. Sood and presented by him at DefCon 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada, on August 8, 2015. He reported that the passwords for KACO HMI products are present in the code for the client that allows users to control the HMI. He reported this vulnerability to ICS-CERT a few days before his presentation, and the vendor was notified of the issue but did not have time to correct it.
ICS-CERT will continue to work with KACO to address this issue and will notify users when a patch or other mitigating solution becomes available.
Please report any issues affecting control systems in critical infrastructure environments to ICS CERT.
ICS-CERT is currently coordinating with the vendor and security researcher to identify mitigations.
ICS-CERT recommends that users take defensive measures to minimize the risk of exploitation of these vulnerabilities. Specifically, users should:
- Carefully monitor these devices and the surrounding network; check logs for possible intrusions.
- Minimize network exposure for all control system devices and/or systems, and ensure that they are not accessible from the Internet.a
- 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.
- aICS-CERT ALERT, http://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/alerts/ICS-ALERT-10-301-01, web site last accessed August 12, 2015.
For any questions related to this report, please contact the CISA at:
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