Advantech communication devices vulnerable to remote code execution

Industrial equipment owners are advised to install the latest firmware updates to protect their Advantech Modbus gateway devices

Industrial computer manufacturer Advantech fixed a critical vulnerability in a series of devices that handle data communication for industrial equipment with serial connections and TCP/IP networks.

The vulnerability was discovered by researchers from Core Security in the firmware of Advantech EKI-1200 series and ADAM-4572 devices, which are known as Modbus gateways.

The flaw is a buffer overflow in a CGI script and can be exploited remotely by attackers to execute arbitrary code on the device, the Core researchers said in an advisory published Monday.

Accessing the CGI script might require authentication in some cases, but attackers can use credentials for the root account that are hard coded in the firmware and are not always changed by users, the researchers said.

The Core advisory includes a proof-of-concept exploit that will trigger the buffer overflow on a vulnerable device using the hard-coded root password.

Advantech released a new version of the EKI-1200 firmware to address the issue. Users are advised to upgrade as soon as possible.

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