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AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
Rockwell Automation Allen-Bradley CompactLogix Reflective
Cross-Site Scripting Vulnerability
3 March 2016
AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
Product: Rockwell Automation Allen-Bradley CompactLogix controller
Operating System: Network Appliance
Impact/Access: Cross-site Scripting -- Remote with User Interaction
CVE Names: CVE-2016-2279
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Rockwell Automation Allen-Bradley CompactLogix Reflective Cross-Site Scripting
Original release date: March 01, 2016 | Last revised: March 02, 2016
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/.
This advisory is a follow-up to the alert titled ICS-ALERT-15-225-01A Rockwell
Automation 1766-L32 Series Vulnerability[a] that was published August 13, 2015,
on the NCCIC/ICS-CERT web site.
Independent researcher Aditya Sood has identified a cross-site scripting
vulnerability in Rockwell Automations CompactLogix controller. This
vulnerability has been publicly disclosed. Rockwell Automation has produced a
new firmware version to mitigate this vulnerability.
This vulnerability could be exploited remotely.
Rockwell Automation reports that the vulnerability affects the following
versions of the Allen-Bradley CompactLogix controller platform:
1769-L16ER-BB1B, Version 27.011 and earlier,
1769-L18ER-BB1B, Version 27.011 and earlier,
1769-L18ERM-BB1B, Version 27.011 and earlier,
1769-L24ER-QB1B, Version 27.011 and earlier,
1769-L24ER-QBFC1B, Version 27.011 and earlier,
1769-L27ERM-QBFC1B, Version 27.011 and earlier,
1769-L30ER, Version 27.011 and earlier,
1769-L30ERM, Version 27.011 and earlier,
1769-L30ER-NSE, Version 27.011 and earlier,
1769-L33ER, Version 27.011 and earlier,
1769-L33ERM, Version 27.011 and earlier,
1769-L36ERM, Version 27.011 and earlier,
1769-L23E-QB1B, Version 20.018 and earlier (Will be discontinued in June
1769-L23E-QBFC1B, Version 20.018 and earlier (Will be discontinued in June
A successful exploit using this vulnerability could affect the availability of
the target device.
Impact to individual organizations depends on many factors that are unique to
each organization. ICS-CERT recommends that organizations evaluate the impact
of this vulnerability based on their operational environment, architecture,
and product implementation.
Rockwell Automation is a US-based company that maintains offices around the
The affected products, CompactLogix, are controllers that include a web
server. According to Rockwell Automation, these products are deployed across
several sectors including Chemical, Critical Manufacturing, Food and
Agriculture, Water and Wastewater Systems, and others. Rockwell Automation
estimates that these products are used worldwide.
The vulnerability in the CompactLogixs webserver allows an attacker to inject
this type of attack is not the CompactLogix itself. Instead, the CompactLogix
is a vehicle to deliver an attack to the web browser.
CVE-2016-2279[c] has been assigned to this vulnerability. A CVSS v3 base score
of 6.1 has been assigned; the CVSS vector string is
This vulnerability could be exploited remotely.
EXISTENCE OF EXPLOIT
This vulnerability was publicly disclosed; it is unknown if there are public
exploits that specifically target this vulnerability.
An attacker with a low skill would be able to exploit this vulnerability.
Rockwell Automation recommends that users of 1769-L23E-QB1B migrate to
1769-L24ER-BB1B and users of 1769-L23E-QBFC1B migrate to 1769-L24ER-QBFC1B.
For the other affected versions listed above, Rockwell Automation recommends
that users apply firmware Version 28.011+ available at:
(link is external)
For more detailed information, please see Rockwell Automations security
notification (KB731098 ) at the following URL, with a valid account:
is external) (link is external)
Rockwell Automation also recommends the following security practices:
Use trusted software, software patches, antivirus/antimalware programs and
interact only with trusted web sites and attachments.
Employ training and awareness programs to educate users on the warning signs
of a phishing or social engineering attack.
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 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 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
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. ICS-ALERT-15-225-02A - Rockwell Automation 1766-L32 Series Vulnerability,
https://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/alerts/ICS-ALERT-15-225-02A, web site last
accessed March 01, 2016.
b. CWE-79: Improper Neutralization of Input During Web Page Generation
('Cross-site Scripting'), http://cwe.mitre.org/data/definitions/79.html, web
site last accessed March 01, 2016.
c. NVD, http://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/vuln/detail?vulnId=CVE-2016-2279, NIST
uses this advisory to create the CVE web site report. This web site will be
active sometime after publication of this advisory.
d. CVSS Calculator,
web site last accessed March 01, 2016.
For any questions related to this report, please contact ICS-CERT at:
Email: email@example.com (link sends e-mail)
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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