Several security vulnerabilities have been disclosed in cloud management platforms associated with three industrial cellular router vendors that could expose operational technology (OT) networks to external attacks.
The findings were presented by Israeli industrial cybersecurity firm OTORIO at the Black Hat Asia 2023 conference last week.
"Industrial cellular routers and gateways are essential IIoT devices that provide connectivity for industrial applications, facilitating remote monitoring, control, and data exchange across various industries," OTORIO said.
With gateways widely deployed in critical infrastructure sectors such as substations, water utilities, oil fields, and pipelines, weaknesses in these devices could have severe consequences, impacting availability and process safety.
The 11 vulnerabilities discovered by the company allow "remote code execution and full control over hundreds of thousands of devices and OT networks - in some cases, even those not actively configured to use the cloud."
Specifically, the shortcomings reside in the cloud-based management solutions offered by Sierra Wireless, Teltonika Networks, and InHand Networks to remotely manage and operate devices.
Ever wondered why social engineering is so effective? Dive deep into the psychology of cyber attackers in our upcoming webinar.Join Now
Successful exploitation of the vulnerabilities could pose severe risks to industrial environments, allowing adversaries to sidestep security layers as well as exfiltrate sensitive information and achieve code execution remotely on the internal networks.
Even worse, the issues could be weaponized to obtain unauthorized access to devices in the network and perform malicious operations such as shutdown with elevated permissions.
This, in turn, is made possible due to three different attack vectors that could be exploited to compromise and takeover cloud-managed IIoT devices through their cloud-based management platforms:
- Weak asset registration mechanisms (Sierra Wireless): An attacker could scan for unregistered devices that are connected to the cloud, get their serial numbers by taking advantage of the AirVantage online Warranty Checker tool, register them to an account under their control, and execute arbitrary commands.
- Flaws in security configurations (InHand Networks): An unauthorized user could leverage CVE-2023-22601, CVE-2023-22600, and CVE-2023-22598 (a command injection flaw) to gain remote code execution with root privileges, issue reboot commands, and push firmware updates.
- External API and interfaces (Teltonika Networks): A threat actor could abuse multiple issues identified in the remote management system (RMS) to "expose sensitive device information and device credentials, enable remote code execution, expose connected devices managed on the network, and allow impersonation of legitimate devices."
The six flaws impacting Teltonika Networks RMS – CVE-2023-32346, CVE-2023-32347, CVE-2023-32348, CVE-2023-2586, CVE-2023-2587, and CVE-2023-2588 – were discovered following a "comprehensive research" carried out in collaboration with Claroty.
Furthermore, two high-severity vulnerabilities have been unearthed in Teltonika's RUT router firmware – CVE-2023-32349 and CVE-2023-32350 – that could result in arbitrary code execution and command injection.
"An attacker successfully exploiting these industrial routers and IoT devices can cause a number of impacts on compromised devices and networks, including monitoring network traffic and stealing sensitive data, hijacking internet connections in order to route traffic to malicious sites, or inject malware into traffic," the companies said.
"Also, an attacker may exploit these issues to access and control networked devices and change router settings in order to manipulate configurations such as DNS settings or firewall rules. The compromised industrial devices may also be used to launch attacks against other devices or networks."
OTORIO said cloud-managed devices pose a "huge" supply-chain risk and that a single vendor compromise can act as a backdoor for accessing several OT networks in one sweep.
The development comes a little more than three months after the cybersecurity company disclosed 38 security flaws in the wireless industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices that could provide attackers a direct path to internal OT networks and put critical infrastructure at risk.
"As the deployment of IIoT devices becomes more popular, it's important to be aware that their cloud management platforms may be targeted by threat actors," security researcher Roni Gavrilov said. "A single IIoT vendor platform being exploited could act as a 'pivot point' for attackers, accessing thousands of environments at once."