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AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
Advisory (ICSA-15-048-01) Siemens SIMATIC STEP 7 TIA Portal
19 February 2015
AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
Product: Siemens SIMATIC STEP 7 TIA Portal
Operating System: Windows
Impact/Access: Unauthorised Access -- Existing Account
CVE Names: CVE-2015-1356 CVE-2015-1355
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Siemens SIMATIC STEP 7 TIA Portal Vulnerabilities
Original release date: February 17, 2015
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is governed by the Traffic Light Protocol (TLP) marking in the header. For
more information about TLP, see http://www.us-cert.gov/tlp/.
Aleksandr Timorin from Positive Technologies has identified authentication
vulnerabilities in the Siemens SIMATIC STEP 7 TIA Portal application. Siemens
has produced a service pack that mitigates these vulnerabilities.
The following Siemens products are affected:
- - SIMATIC STEP 7 TIA Portal: All versions prior to V13 SP1
A local user who is tricked into exploiting these vulnerabilities could
possibly escalate privileges for an attacker. Impact to individual
organizations depends on many factors that are unique to each organization.
NCCIC/ICS-CERT recommends that organizations evaluate the impact of these
vulnerabilities based on their operational environment, architecture, and
Siemens is a multinational company headquartered in Munich, Germany.
The affected product, SIMATIC STEP 7 TIA Portal, is engineering software for
SIMATIC products. This software is deployed across several sectors including
Chemical, Energy, Food and Agriculture, and Water and Wastewater Systems.
Siemens estimates that these products are used primarily in the United States
and Europe with a small percentage in Asia.
WEAK PASSWORD HASHING[a]
Device user passwords in TIA Portal project files are stored using a weak
hashing algorithm. Attackers with read access to the project file could
possibly reconstruct the passwords for device users.
CVE-2015-1355[b] has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v2 base score
of 2.1 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is
PERMISSIONS, PRIVILEGES, AND ACCESS CONTROLS[d]
Privilege information for device users is stored unprotected in the TIA Portal
project file. Attackers with access to the project file could possibly read
and modify the permissions for device users in the project file. If
unsuspecting users are tricked to download the manipulated project file to the
device, the user permissions become active.
CVE-2015-1356[e] has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v2 base score
of 2.6 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is
These vulnerabilities are not exploitable remotely without local user
EXISTENCE OF EXPLOIT
No known public exploits specifically target these vulnerabilities.
Crafting a working exploit for these vulnerabilities would be difficult.
Social engineering is required to convince the user to accept the malformed
file. Additional user interaction is needed to load the malformed file. This
decreases the likelihood of a successful exploit.
Siemens provides Service Pack 1 for STEP 7 TIA Portal V13, which mitigates the
For more information on these vulnerabilities and detailed instructions,
please see Siemens Security Advisory SSA-234789 at the following location:
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 ICSCERT 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
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.
In addition, ICS-CERT recommends that users take the following measures to
protect themselves from social engineering attacks:
- - Do not click web links or open unsolicited attachments in email messages.
- - Refer to Recognizing and Avoiding Email Scams[g] for more information on
avoiding email scams.
- - Refer to Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks[h] for more
information on social engineering attacks.
a. CWE-916: Use of Password Hash With Insufficient Computational Effort,
http://cwe.mitre.org/data/definitions/916.html, web site last accessed
February 17, 2015.
b. NVD, http://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/vuln/detail?vulnId=CVE-2015-1355, NIST
uses this advisory to create the CVE web site report. This web site will be
active sometime after publication of this advisory.
c. CVSS Calculator,
site last accessed February 17, 2015.
d. CWE-264: Permissions, Privileges, and Access Controls,
http://cwe.mitre.org/data/definitions/264.html, web site last accessed
February 17, 2015.
e. NVD, http://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/vuln/detail?vulnId=CVE-2015-1356,
NIST uses this advisory to create the CVE web site report. This web site will
be active sometime after publication of this advisory.
f. CVSS Calculator,
web site last accessed February 17, 2015.
g. Recognizing and Avoiding Email Scams,
http://www.us-cert.gov/reading_room/emailscams_0905.pdf, web site last
accessed February 17, 2015.
h. National Cyber Alert System Cyber Security Tip ST04-014,
http://www.us-cert.gov/cas/tips/ST04-014.html, web site last accessed February
For any questions related to this report, please contact ICS-CERT at:
Toll Free: 1-877-776-7585
International Callers: (208) 526-0900
For industrial control systems security information and incident reporting:
ICS-CERT continuously strives to improve its products and services. You can
help by choosing one of the links below to provide feedback about this
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