Siemens rushes to patch IoT devices against Intel AMT flaw

Hacker typing on a keyboard
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Siemens has issued patches to 38 of its industrial control products after it was discovered they were vulnerable to an Intel AMT flaw that could let hackers gain system privileges and run remote code.

According to an advisory published by Siemens, a flaw within several Intel chipsets found in Siemens products used in industrial control units feature Intel's Active Management Technology (AMT). These are susceptible to remote code execution vulnerability (CVE-2017-5689).

The advisory said that a hacker could "gain system privileges to provisioned Intel manageability SKUs: Intel Active Management Technology (AMT), Intel Standard Manageability (ISM) and Intel Small Business Technology (SBT)."

Up to 38 products are affected by the bug. These include SIMATIC industrial PCs, SINUMERIK control panels and SIMOTION P320 PCs. The bug has a CVSS Base Score of 9.8.

While the company has provided a firmware update, it urged organisations to ensure that AMT is set to "un-configured" in the BIOS setup as a mitigation. It also advised protection of the following ports: 16992/TCP, 16993/TCP, 16994/TCP, 16995/TCP, 623/TCP, and 664/TCP.

"As a general security measure, Siemens strongly recommends to protect network access to the non-perimeter Industrial Products with appropriate mechanisms. It is advised to configure the environment according to our operational guidelines in order to run the products in a protected IT environment," it warned.

The firm also notified users of another bug, this time with its ViewPort for Web Office Portal. This is used by some energy companies to retrieve data from control centres.

In another advisory, it said that the flaw could enable an unauthenticated remote user could upload arbitrary code and execute it with the permissions of the operating system user running the web server by sending specially crafted network packets to port 443/TCP or port 80/TCP.

"The attacker must have network access to the web server on port 443/TCP or port 80/TCP of the affected product. Siemens recommends operating the affected product only within trusted networks," the firm said.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.