ICS Advisory (ICSA-21-355-04)

Emerson DeltaV

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1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • CVSS v3 8.1
  • ATTENTION: Exploitable remotely/low attack complexity
  • Vendor: Emerson
  • Equipment: DeltaV Distributed Control System Controllers and Workstations
  • Vulnerabilities: Missing Authentication for Critical Function, Uncontrolled Search Path Element

2. RISK EVALUATION

Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities could allow an attacker to achieve local privilege escalation or restart a controller, resulting in a denial-of-service condition. 

3. TECHNICAL DETAILS

3.1 AFFECTED PRODUCTS

Emerson reports these vulnerabilities affect the following versions:

  • DeltaV Distributed Control System Controllers and Workstations: All versions

3.2 VULNERABILITY OVERVIEW

3.2.1    MISSING AUTHENTICATION FOR CRITICAL FUNCTION CWE-306

A specially crafted script could cause a controller to restart and cause a denial-of-service condition.

CVE-2021-26264 has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3 base score of 6.1 has been calculated; the CVSS vector string is (AV:A/AC:H/PR:N/UI:N/S:C/C:N/I:N/A:H).

3.2.2    UNCONTROLLED SEARCH PATH ELEMENT CWE-427

Missing DLLs, if replaced by an insider, could allow an attacker to achieve local privilege escalation when some DeltaV services are started.

CVE-2021-44463 has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3 base score of 8.1 has been calculated; the CVSS vector string is (AV:L/AC:L/PR:L/UI:R/S:C/C:L/I:H/A:H).

3.3 BACKGROUND

  • CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE SECTORS: Chemical, Critical Manufacturing, Energy 
  • COUNTRIES/AREAS DEPLOYED: Worldwide
  • COMPANY HEADQUARTERS LOCATION: United States

3.4 RESEARCHER

Sharon Brizinov of Claroty reported these vulnerabilities to Emerson.

4. MITIGATIONS

Emerson recommends users apply the vendor patch to affected products listed below:

  • DeltaV DCS Versions 13.3.1, 14.LTS, 14.FP1, 14.FP2, and R6

Software patches are available to users with access to the Guardian Support Portal (login required). Please refer to the Knowledge Base Article NK-2100-0497 (DSN21008) on the Guardian Support Portal for more information.

To limit exposure to these and other vulnerabilities, Emerson recommends DeltaV systems and related components be deployed and configured as described in the DeltaV Security Manual, which can be found in Emerson’s Guardian Support Portal (login required).

CISA recommends users take defensive measures to minimize the risk of exploitation of these vulnerabilities. Specifically, users should:

  • Minimize network exposure for all control system devices and/or systems, and ensure 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 VPNs may have vulnerabilities and should be updated to the most current version available. Also recognize VPN is only as secure as its connected devices.

CISA reminds organizations to perform proper impact analysis and risk assessment prior to deploying defensive measures.

CISA also provides a section for control systems security recommended practices on the ICS webpage on cisa.gov. Several recommended practices are available for reading and download, including Improving Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity with Defense-in-Depth Strategies.

Additional mitigation guidance and recommended practices are publicly available on the ICS webpage on cisa.gov in the Technical Information Paper, ICS-TIP-12-146-01B--Targeted Cyber Intrusion Detection and Mitigation Strategies.

Organizations observing any suspected malicious activity should follow their established internal procedures and report their findings to CISA for tracking and correlation against other incidents.

CISA also recommends users take the following measures to protect themselves from social engineering attacks:

No known public exploits specifically target these vulnerabilities.


    Contact Information

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