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Patch me if you are allowed to • The Register

Patch me if you are allowed to • The Register


A vulnerability in Thales’ Cinterion EHS8 M2M module, a Java-powered embedded 3G system utilized in hundreds of thousands of Web-of-Issues units for connectivity, was revealed yesterday by IBM’s X-Pressure Crimson.

The bug (CVE-2020-15858), disclosed to Thales and addressed in a patch made accessible to IoT distributors in February, makes it attainable for an attacker to, for example, extract the code and different assets from a weak machine. This data may very well be reverse-engineered to search out vulnerabilities to use, and secret keys and passwords to extract, probably resulting in miscreants hijacking the {hardware} and/or having access to its community.

Large Blue’s infosec crew contended that compromising a weak Cinterion module might permit scumbags to, say, overdose sufferers with pressured insulin pumps or intervene with {the electrical} grid. The flaw is current not solely within the EHS8 module, but in addition in associated IoT modules together with BGS5, EHS5/6/8, PDS5/6/8, ELS61, ELS81, and PLS62.

The {hardware} got here to Thales by the use of its Gemalto acquisition final 12 months. Used within the automotive, power, medical, and telecom industries, every module features a system-on-chip with an embedded Java ME interpreter and flash storage, in accordance with IBM, alongside varied interfaces, together with GSM, USB, I2C, SPI et al. This chip additionally helps IP and PPP communication.

X-Pressure Crimson described the widget as an embedded Java atmosphere that accepts low-level “AT” instructions through a bodily UART serial connection. The chip runs packages referred to as Java “midlets” which might be put in by distributors and Thales. The flaw, when exploited, supplies an attacker with full learn and write entry to the Java midlets operating on the system.

Patch me if you are allowed to • The Register

The Web of Issues is a safety nightmare, newest real-world evaluation reveals: Unencrypted site visitors, community crossover, weak OSes


The bug is mainly a flawed string sanitization examine. In keeping with X-Pressure Crimson, Thales’ Java code contains an try and examine if the fourth character in a path substring is a dot, to make sure that no try is made to entry delicate hidden recordsdata (designated by a dot within the filename).

“In regular circumstances, any try and entry hidden recordsdata with a dot prefix shall be denied (instance: a:/.hidden_file),” noticed X-Pressure Crimson safety hackers Adam Laurie and Grzegorz Wypych in an in depth advisory on Wednesday. “Nonetheless, changing the slash with double slash (instance: a://.hidden_file) will trigger the situation to fail and code execution will leap to a personality checking loop which is able to match any printable character.”

In different phrases, the safety examine meant to forestall entry to dot-prefixed hidden recordsdata might be bypassed with a double slash. This may be exploited by somebody with their arms on a Cinterion module to ship the required AT instructions to learn hidden recordsdata, and mine that data for methods to remotely compromise different individuals’s gear.

The truth that Thales has put out a repair would not essentially imply that it has been utilized in every single place; patching might be executed through an over-the-air replace, if accessible, or through a related USB drive. For medical units and industrial controls, IBM’s safety professionals famous, the replace course of could require recertification or impose different burdens.

Thales claims to have 30,000 companies utilizing know-how from its Digital Identification and Safety Group. A few of these are prospects of its IoT division, which helps join greater than three billion networked units yearly or so, the corporate says. There’s in all probability nonetheless some patching work that must be executed. ®

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