ICS Advisory

GE Proficy HMI/SCADA DNP3 Driver Input Validation

Last Revised
Alert Code


This advisory was originally posted to the US-CERT secure Portal library on October 14, 2014, and is being released to the NCCIC/ICS-CERT web site.

Independent researcher Adam Crain of Automatak has identified an improper input validation in the DNP3 driver provided by Catapult Software. Catapult and GE have produced a patch that mitigates this vulnerability. GE has tested the patch to validate that it resolves the vulnerability in affected GE Proficy HMI/SCADA products.

This vulnerability could be exploited remotely.


The following GE Intelligent Platform software is affected:

Specific products addressed include:

  • iFix (all versions): Catapult v7.20.62,
  • CIMPLICITY 8.2 and earlier: Catapult v8.2.62,
  • CIMPLICITY 9.0: Catapult v9.0.62,
  • Proficy HMI/SCADA DNP3 I/O Driver (“DNP): Version v7.20k (Catapult v7.20.60) and prior, and
  • Proficy HMI/SCADA – iFIX or CIMPLICITY servers with the vulnerable I/O Driver installed (this includes iFIX or CIMPLICITY installations that are part of Proficy Process Systems).


This vulnerability can be exploited to generate an unhandled exception or denial of service.

Impact to individual organizations depends on many factors that are unique to each organization. ICS-CERT recommends that organizations evaluate the impact of this vulnerability based on their operational environment, architecture, and product implementation.


Catapult Software is based in New Zealand and specializes in HMI/SCADA software development.

The affected product, DNP 3.0 driver, was designed to be used with GE Intelligent Platforms’ iFIX and CIMPLICITY products, which are web-based HMI/SCADA systems. According to Catapult Software, the driver and SCADA systems are deployed across several sectors, including Energy, and Water and Wastewater Systems.



IMPROPER INPUT VALIDATION CWE-20: Improper Input Validation, http://cwe.mitre.org/data/definitions/20.html, web site last accessed January 13, 2015.

The DNP master station server (DNPDrv.exe) that processes incoming messages via Serial, IP, or Modem does not validate all inputs and can be exploited to generate an unhandled exception or denial of service.

CVE-2013-2811NVD, http://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/vuln/detail?vulnId=CVE-2013-2811, web site last accessed January 13, 2015. has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v2 base score of 7.8 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is (AV:N/AC:L/Au:N/C:N/I:N/A:C).CVSS Calculator, http://nvd.nist.gov/cvss.cfm?version=2&vector=AV:N/AC:L/Au:N/C:N/I:N/A:C, web site last accessed January 13, 2015.



This vulnerability could be exploited remotely.


No known public exploits specifically target this vulnerability.


An attacker with a low skill would be able to exploit this vulnerability.


Installing Version 7.20L of the DNP driver or newer will address this issue for the products below:

To obtain the latest version of any I/O driver please visit GE’s web site at http://support.ge-ip.com and, in the right column, look for “Quick Picks” > “Downloads” > “I/O Drivers.”

ICS-CERT encourages asset owners to take additional defensive measures to protect against this and other cybersecurity risks.

  • Minimize network exposure for all control system devices and/or systems, and ensure that they are not accessible from the Internet.
  • Locate control system networks and remote 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 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 (www.ics-cert.org).

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.

This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy.


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