ABB Updates HART Device DTM

Wednesday, March 11, 2015 @ 02:03 PM gHale

ABB is integrating a fix into its HART Device DTM after a researcher discovered an improper input vulnerability in the CodeWrights GmbH HART Device Type Manager (DTM) library used by ABB, according to a report on ICS-CERT.

Alexander Bolshev of Digital Security discovered the CodeWrights GmbH HART Device Type Manager (DTM) library vulnerability.

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The following products use the vulnerable HART Device DTM library and suffer from the issue:
• ABB Third-Party Device Type Library, Version 1.17 and prior
1. 800xA — Device Management HART
• Freelance ABB Third-Party HART DTMLibrary, Version and prior
1. Freelance 800F
• S Plus Melody ABB Third-Party HART DTMLibrary, Version and prior
1. Symphony Plus with Composer Melody
2. S+Engineering for Melody
3. Composer Field

The vulnerability causes a buffer overflow in the HART Device DTM crashing the Field Device Tool (FDT) Frame Application. The Frame Application must then restart. The Frame Application primarily sees use 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.

ABB is a company based in Switzerland that maintains offices in several countries around the world. ABB develops products in multiple critical sectors that see action on a worldwide basis.

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 deploy across multiple critical infrastructure sectors. ABB said these products see use globally.

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-2014-9191 is the case number assigned to this vulnerability, which has a CVSS v2 base score of 1.8.

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 a requirement 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 end up used for Internet surfing, instant messaging, or receiving emails. Portable computers and removable storage media should undergo careful scanning for viruses before they connect 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 entitled SECURITY BULLETIN – HART Vulnerability in ABB Third Party Device Type Library, includes patch information regarding this vulnerability.

ABB provides Alerts & Notifications of their products on their web site.

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