Many Siemens Products Affected by Foreshadow Vulnerabilities

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Siemens informed customers this week that many of its products are affected by the recently disclosed processor vulnerabilities known as Foreshadow and L1 Terminal Fault (L1TF).

There are a total of three Foreshadow vulnerabilities affecting Intel Core and Xeon CPUs: CVE-2018-3615, which impacts Intel’s Software Guard Extensions (SGX); CVE-2018-3620, which impacts operating systems and System Management Mode (SMM); and CVE-2018-3646, which affects virtualization software and Virtual Machine Monitors (VMM).

The security holes could allow malicious applications to obtain potentially sensitive information from a device’s memory, including data associated with operating systems, apps and virtual machines.

Siemens noted that several of its industrial products use the impacted Intel processors, including RUGGEDCOM, SIMATIC, SIMOTION and SINUMERIK devices. The Siemens advisory lists more than 30 affected products.

The company has released BIOS updates, workarounds and mitigations to help users prevent potential attacks exploiting the Foreshadow vulnerabilities. The German industrial giant has also advised customers to install available operating system updates.

BIOS updates are currently available for SIMATIC IPC, SIMATIC Field PG, SIMATIC ITP, SIMOTION P and SINUMERIK PCU devices, and the company is working on releasing firmware patches for other products as well.

Since Foreshadow requires the attacker to execute a malicious application on the targeted system, Siemens recommends “limiting the possibilities to run untrusted code if possible,” including by applying defense-in-depth methods.

Several organizations have released advisories for the Foreshadow vulnerabilities, including Cisco, F5 Networks, HPE, Synology, Huawei, Lenovo, SonicWall, NetApp, and CERT/CC. While NIST and some of the vendors have classified the flaws as “medium severity,” Siemens, Huawei, Lenovo, SonicWall, NetApp, and HPE have assigned CVSS scores that put them in the “high severity” category.

Related: ICS Vendors Assessing Impact of Meltdown, Spectre Flaws

Related: Industry Reactions to Foreshadow Flaws

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

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