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AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
N-Tron 702W Hard-Coded SSH and HTTPS Encryption Keys
11 June 2015
AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
Product: N-Tron 702W
Operating System: Network Appliance
Impact/Access: Access Privileged Data -- Remote/Unauthenticated
Provide Misleading Information -- Remote/Unauthenticated
CVE Names: CVE-2012-4716
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N-Tron 702W Hard-Coded SSH and HTTPS Encryption Keys
Original release date: June 09, 2015
All information products included in http://ics-cert.us-cert.gov are provided
"as is" for informational purposes only. The Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information
contained within. DHS does not endorse any commercial product or service,
referenced in this product or otherwise. Further dissemination of this product
is governed by the Traffic Light Protocol (TLP) marking in the header. For
more information about TLP, see http://www.us-cert.gov/tlp/.
Independent researcher Neil Smith of (ZeroFox) Riskive Security has identified
hard-coded SSH and HTTPS encryption keys in N-Trons 702-W Industrial Wireless
Access Point device. This vulnerability could allow an attacker to compromise
communications and compromise the integrity of the device. N-Tron has been
notified of this reported vulnerability, and NCCIC/ICSCERT has not been able
to successfully coordinate this issue with N-Tron or Red Lion because of the
vendors unresponsiveness. ICS-CERT is unaware of any fix, patch, or update by
N-Tron that mitigates this vulnerability. This advisory is being published to
inform critical infrastructure asset owners of the risk of using this
equipment and for them to increase compensating measures if possible.
This vulnerability can be exploited remotely.
The following N-Tron products are affected:
N-Tron 702-W Industrial Wireless Access Point, all versions.
The SSH and HTTPS private keys for secure communication can be copied from the
device and the keys are the same on each device. Users do not have the ability
to generate a new private key. These keys can be used to intercept
communications from these devices to completely compromise the confidentiality
and integrity of the transmitted data.
Impact to individual organizations depends on many factors that are unique to
each organization. ICSCERT recommends that organizations evaluate the impact
of this vulnerability based on their operational environment, architecture,
and product implementation.
Spectris plc is a United Kingdom-based instrumentation and controls company
that acquired NTron on October 1, 2010, and is aligned closely with its Red
Lion Controls subsidiary. In February 2013, Red Lion, Sixnet, and N-Tron were
fully combined under the Red Lion Brand. N-Tron is a US-based company that
maintains corporate offices in Mobile, Alabama, with representatives around
the world, including Canada, China, India, Switzerland, and the United
According to the N-Tron web site, products are deployed across several sectors
including Commercial Facilities; Energy; Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and
Waste; Transportation Systems; and Water and Wastewater System, as well as
other miscellaneous process control applications. N-Tron estimates that these
products are distributed in over 50 countries worldwide.
HARD-CODED CRYPTOGRAPHIC KEYS [a]
The SSH and HTTPS private keys used for secure traffic communication are
hard-coded on the device and are not unique. An attacker can use these keys
from one device to decrypt traffic from any other device. Users do not have
the ability to generate new keys for the device. An attacker has the ability
to use the key to completely compromise the confidentiality and integrity of
the wireless traffic.
CVE-2012-4716 [b] has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v2 base
score of 8.8 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is
This vulnerability can be exploited remotely as the keys can be pulled from
firmware available from N-Tron.
EXISTENCE OF EXPLOIT
No known public exploits specifically target this vulnerability.
An attacker with a low skill would be able to exploit this vulnerability.
ICS-CERT recommends users contact N-Tron customer support with further
questions and for mitigation strategies.
ICS-CERT recommends that users take defensive measures to minimize the risk of
exploitation of this vulnerability. Specifically, users should:
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 reminds organizations to perform proper impact analysis and risk
assessment prior to deploying defensive measures.
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.
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.
a. CWE-321: Use of Hard-coded Cryptographic Key,
http://cwe.mitre.org/data/definitions/321.html, web site last accessed June
b. NVD, http://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/vuln/detail?vulnId=CVE-2012-4716,
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 June 09, 2015.
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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