23 Aug 2012

Siemens Gear Plagued by Remote Exploit Vulnerability, Warns DHS

Siemens technology-based infrastructures that use RuggedCom’s hardware are prone to hacker attacks as security researcher Justin Clarke revealed an encryption flaw that could be exploited by attackers.

The Department of Homeland Security's Industrial Control Systems Computer Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) immediately issued a warning of a hard-coded RSA SSL private key vulnerability that could affect RuggedCom’s routers and switches.

"An attacker may use the key to create malicious communication to a RuggedCom network device,” says the report. Clarke commented that “If you can get to the inside, there is almost no authentication, there are almost no checks and balances to stop you.”

Decoding the encrypted traffic and sending fake credentials or malware to compromised networks could enable remote access to power plants and other critical systems that use RuggedCom’s hardware. Although the software glitch was immediately patched by RuggedCom’s, the Department of Homeland Security has taken interest in detecting other possible software breaches on outdated hardware that’s vitally interconnected with critical systems.

"DHS works closely with public and private sector partners to develop trusted relationships and help asset owners and operators establish policies and controls that prevent incidents," said DHS spokesman Peter Boogaard. "The number of incidents reported to DHS's ICS-CERT has increased, partly due to this increased communication."