SAP fixed a critical vulnerability in its application that could be exploited by hackers, especially nation-state actors, to compromise industrial manufacturing software. SAP issued a critical software update that patched 23 security vulnerabilities, one of them affecting the SAP Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence (xMII).
The SAP Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence (xMII) solution implements a sort of software hub that connects ERP software (Enterprise Resource Planning) and other enterprise applications with plant floor and Operational Technology devices (OT).
This specific SAP solution is widely adopted in the energy industry that is known to be a privileged target for state-sponsored hackers.
SAP published a SAP Security Notes February 2016 – Review and also a summary docs that contains the information on the Patch Day Security Notes that are released on second Tuesday of every month and fix flaws in SAP solutions.
According to data provided by SAP, most of the fixed holes affects SAP NetWeaver’s J2EE application security, meanwhile Cross Site Scripting represents the principal vulnerability type.
A study conducted by TripWire in January revealed successful cyber attacks on the energy industry increased as never before in 2015.
Data published in the report confirmed that 69% of respondents to the Tripwire study declared they “weren’t confident” their company would be able to detect every cyber attack.
According to US Department of Homeland Security in 2014 the companies in the energy industries suffered 245 incidents.
The flaw fixed by SAP in the in SAP xMII is a directory traversal vulnerability, hackers could exploit it to penetrate into plant floor and OT networks and launch the attack against the connected ICS and SCADA systems.
The flaw could allow attackers to access the file system of the SAP server with unpredictable consequences.
“Any vulnerability affecting SAP MII can be used as a starting point of multi-stage attacks aiming to get control over plant devices and manufacturing systems,” said Polyakov Alexander, CTO at SAP and Oracle security specialists ERPScan, told El Reg. “Similar attack scenarios were presented by us at the BlackHat conference but for the oil and gas [industry] in particular.”
(Security Affairs – civil nuclear facilities, SAP xMII)