Schneider ClearSCADA platform affected by different security flaws

ICS-CERT issued a security advisory for the existence of vulnerabilities in a variety of Schneider Electric StruxureWare SCADA Expert ClearSCADA versions.

According to a recent advisory issued by the ICS-CERT (ICSA-14-259-01) several Electric’s StruxureWare SCADA Expert ClearSCADA are affected by different vulnerabilities.

The independent researcher Aditya Sood has discovered a weak hashing algorithm and CSRF vulnerability in Schneider Electric’s StruxureWare SCADA Expert ClearSCADA.

The Schneider Electric has identified also another flaw affecting its StruxureWare SCADA Expert ClearSCADA product line and is already working for the development of a security patch to fix the problems.

According to the experts Schneider Electric’s SCADA products are affected by several remotely exploitable vulnerabilities still unpatched, in one case a flaw could be exploited to shutdown the SCADA server meanwhile a different vulnerability is an authentication bypass that could give an attacker access to affected systems and sensitive data they manage.

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StruxureWare SCADA Expert ClearSCADA product line offers integrated, scalable SCADA software optimized for remote management of critical infrastructure systems.

“SCADA Expert ClearSCADA versions released prior to September 2014 may be vulnerable to specific web cross-site [request forgery] attacks. The attacker would have to trick the user with system administration privileges logged in via the WebX client interface to exploit this vulnerability. The attacker could then execute a remote shutdown of the ClearSCADA Server. Social engineering is required to exploit this vulnerability,” reports the advisory from ICS-CERT.

The authentication bypass flaw allows a remote attacker to access sensitive data without logging in as explained in the advisory:

“The guest user account within ClearSCADA installations is provided read access to the ClearSCADA database for the purpose of demonstration for new users. This default security configuration is not sufficiently secure to be adopted for systems placed into a production environment and can potentially expose sensitive system information to users without requiring login credentials,” the advisory says.

Schneider Electric as announced the release of a patch later this month, waiting for the fixes the company is recommending some mitigations for customers.

“Schneider Electric advises all ClearSCADA users to take steps to secure the interfaces to the ClearSCADA system. The ClearSCADA database security configuration should be reviewed and updated to limit all system access to authorized users only. The access permissions of existing users should be reduced to only those required by their role (e.g., removing any higher level System Administration privileges from Operations or Engineering users), and specific accounts should be created with appropriate permissions for performing System Administration tasks,” reports the advisory.

A third security issue is related to the use of a default self-signed certificate for ClearSCADA platform, the digital document uses MD5 as the hashing algorithm.

The security flaws affect the following versions of Schneider’s products:

  • ClearSCADA 2010 R3 (build 72.4560),
  • ClearSCADA 2010 R3.1 (build 72.4644),
  • SCADA Expert ClearSCADA 2013 R1 (build 73.4729),
  • SCADA Expert ClearSCADA 2013 R1.1 (build 73.4832),
  • SCADA Expert ClearSCADA 2013 R1.1a (build 73.4903),
  • SCADA Expert ClearSCADA 2013 R1.2 (build 73.4955),
  • SCADA Expert ClearSCADA 2013 R2 (build 74.5094),
  • SCADA Expert ClearSCADA 2013 R2.1 (build 74.5192), and
  • SCADA Expert ClearSCADA 2014 R1 (build 75.5210).

Security flaws in SCADA systems are considered critical by the security community because the SCADA components are often deployed in critical infrastructure. Governments are alarmed by potential cyber attacks against critical infrastructure, hackers could pose a potential risk to the helpless population, for this reason it crucial to fix any flaw as soon as possible and assess the overall security of such systems.

Pierluigi Paganini

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