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Embedded TCP/IP Stacks Have Memory Corruption Vulnerabilities

Multiple open-source embedded TCP/IP stacks, commonly used in Internet of Things (IoT) and embedded devices, have several vulnerabilities stemming from improper memory management. These vulnerabilities are also tracked as ICS-VU-633937 and JVNVU#96491057 as well as the name AMNESIA:33.

Embedded TCP/IP stacks provide essential network communication capability using TCP/IP networking to many lightweight operating systems adopted by IoT and other embedded devices. These software stacks can also be used in the latest technologies such as Edge Computing. The following embedded TCP/IP stacks were discovered to have 33 memory related vulnerabilities included in this advisory:

These networking software stacks can be integrated in various ways, including compiled from source, modified and integrated, and linked as a dynamic or static libraries, allowing for a wide variety of implementations. As an example, projects such as Apache Nuttx and open-iscsi have adopted common libraries and software modules, thus inheriting some of these vulnerabilities with varying levels of impact. The diversity of implementations and the lack of supply chain visibility has made it difficult to accurately assess the impact, usage as well as the potential exploitability of these vulnerabilities.

In general, most of these vulnerabilities are caused by memory management bugs, commonly seen in lightweight software implementations in Real Time Operating Systems (RTOS) and IoT devices. For specific details on these vulnerabilities, see the Forescout advisory that provides technical details.

The impact of these vulnerabilities vary widely due to the combination of build and runtime options customized while including these in embedded devices. In summary, a remote, unauthenticated attacker may be able to use specially-crafted network packets to cause the vulnerable device to behave in unexpected ways such as a failure (denial of service), disclosure of private information, or execution of arbitrary code.

Read more at CERT Coordination Center

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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