ICS Advisory

Phoenix Contact Software ProConOs and MultiProg Authentication Vulnerability

Last Revised
Alert Code


Reid Wightman of Digital Bond has identified an authentication vulnerability in Phoenix Contact Software’s ProConOs and MultiProg applications. KW-Software originally wrote these applications without authentication intentionally.

This vulnerability could be exploited remotely.


The following applications are affected:

  • ProConOs all versions, and
  • MultiProg all versions.


An exploitation of this vulnerability could allow any network user to interact with the process control and change the ladder logic.

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.


Phoenix Contact Software is a German-based automation software company. Prior to January 2015, they were known as KW-Software GmbH. Phoenix Contact Software provides software solutions to vendor companies. These vendor companies offer products integrated with Phoenix Contact Software worldwide.

These applications allow users to run process control and manage IEC 61131 logic.



MISSING AUTHENTICATIONCWE-306: Missing Authentication for Critical Function, http://cwe.mitre.org/data/definitions/306.html, web site last accessed January 13, 2014.

The protocol behind the application software does not have an authentication mechanism. This allows anyone with network access to inject commands to the protocol.

CVE-2014-9195NVD, http://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/vuln/detail?vulnId=CVE-2014-9195, NIST uses this advisory to create the CVE web site report. This web site will be active sometime after publication of this advisory. has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v2 base score of 10.0 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is (AV:N/AC:L/Au:N/C:C/I:C/A:C)CVSS Calculator, http://nvd.nist.gov/cvss.cfm?version=2&vector=AV:N/AC:L/Au:N/C:C/I:C/A:C, web site last accessed January 13, 2014..



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.


Phoenix Contact Software designed the applications and protocols without authentication mechanisms. It is the understanding of Phoenix Contact Software that vendors using the application software and its protocol would incorporate its own authentication mechanism in its final product. Phoenix Contact Software is considering adding authentication software into future versions of its application software and its protocol.

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 (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.

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