Alexander Bolshev of Digital Security has identified an improper input vulnerability in the CodeWrights GmbH HART Device Type Manager (DTM) library used in ABB’s HART Device DTM. CodeWrights GmbH has addressed the vulnerability with a new library, which ABB have begun to integrate.
The following products use the vulnerable HART Device DTM library and are affected:
The vulnerability causes a buffer overflow in the HART Device DTM crashing the Field Device Tool (FDT) Frame Application. The Frame Application must then be restarted. The Frame Application is primarily used for remote configuration. Exploitation of this vulnerability does not result in loss of information, control, or view by the control system of the HART devices on the 4-20 mA HART Loop.
Impact to individual organizations depends on many factors that are unique to each organization. NCCIC/ICS-CERT recommends that organizations evaluate the impact of this vulnerability based on their operational environment, architecture, and product implementation.
ABB is a company based in Switzerland that maintains offices in several countries around the world. ABB develops products in multiple critical sectors that are deployed worldwide.
The affected product is the HART Device DTM library used by ABB HART-based field devices in the FDT/DTM Frame application. According to ABB, these products are deployed across multiple critical infrastructure sectors. ABB estimates that these products are used worldwide.
Successful injection of specially crafted packets to the Device DTM causes a buffer overflow condition in the Frame Application. The FDT Frame Application becomes unresponsive, and the Device DTM stops functioning.
CVE-2014-9191c has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v2 base score of 1.8 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is (AV:A/AC:H/Au:N/C:N/I:N/A:P).d
This exploit on the FDT/DTM Frame Application is possible from any adjacent network that receives or passes packets from the HART Device DTM.
No known public exploits specifically target this vulnerability.
This is a complex vulnerability. Crafting a working exploit for this vulnerability would be difficult. Compromised access that allows access to the packets transmitted to Frame Application is required for exploitation. This exploit also requires a specific timing to crash the Frame Application. This increases the difficulty of a successful exploit.
Recommended security practices and firewall configurations can help protect a process control network from attacks that originate from outside the network. Process control systems (including the 4-20 mA current loop for connecting field devices) should be physically protected from direct access by unauthorized personnel, have no direct connections to the Internet, and separated from other networks by means of a firewall system that has a minimal number of ports exposed. Process control systems should not be used for Internet surfing, instant messaging, or receiving emails. Portable computers and removable storage media should be carefully scanned for viruses before they are connected to a control system.
Using a virus scanner on all Windows-based system nodes, with the latest updates and with on‑access scanning enabled, can help prevent infection by malicious or unwanted software.
ABB’s security bulletin titled SECURITY BULLETIN - HART Vulnerability in ABB Third Party Device Type Library, includes patch information regarding this vulnerability. This security bulletin is available at:
ABB provides Alerts & Notifications of their products on their web site at:
ICS-CERT encourages asset owners to take additional defensive measures to protect against this and other cybersecurity risks.
ICS-CERT also provides a section for control systems security recommended practices on the ICS-CERT web page at: http://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/content/recommended-practices. Several recommended practices are available for reading and download, including Improving Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity with Defense-in-Depth Strategies. ICS-CERT reminds organizations to perform proper impact analysis and risk assessment prior to deploying defensive measures.
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 (http://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/).
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.
For any questions related to this report, please contact the CISA at:
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For industrial control systems cybersecurity information: https://www.us-cert.gov/ics
or incident reporting: https://www.us-cert.gov/report
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