Multiple Zero-Day Vulnerabilities Discovered By Tenable Research In Building Access Technology

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An attacker could get free rein over buildings by exploiting the unpatched flaws to create fraudulent badges and disable building locks

Tenable®, Inc., the Cyber Exposure company, today announced that Tenable Research has discovered several zero-day vulnerabilities in the PremiSys™access control system developed by IDenticard. When exploited, the most severe vulnerability would give an attacker unfettered access to the badge system database, allowing him/her to covertly enter buildings by creating fraudulent badges and disabling building locks. According to its website, IDenticard has tens of thousands of customers around the world, including Fortune 500 companies, K-12 schools, universities, medical centres and government agencies.

Today’s modern enterprise has an extremely complex digital infrastructure comprised of both traditional and modern assets — from workstations and on-premises servers to building security systems and smart devices. This level of complexity has made it increasingly difficult for security teams to establish secure networks in dynamic enterprise environments. The PremiSys zero-days are a stark reminder that the mass adoption of emerging technologies has quickly blurred the lines between physical and digital security. This discovery comes just a few months after Tenable Research found another zero-day flaw — dubbed Peekaboo — in global video surveillance software.

PremiSys technology allows customers to grant and restrict access to doors, lockdown facilities and view integrated video. Once exploited, the most severe flaw would give cybercriminals administrator access to the entire badge system database via the PremiSys Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) service endpoint. Using the administrator privileges, attackers can perform a variety of actions like downloading the full contents of the system database, modifying its contents or deleting users.

“The digital era has brought the cyber and physical worlds together thanks, in part, to the adoption of IoT. An organisation’s security purview is no longer confined by a firewall, subnets, or physical perimeter — it’s now boundaryless. This makes it critically important for security teams to have complete visibility into where they are exposed and to what extent,” said Renaud Deraison, co-founder and chief technology officer, Tenable. “Unfortunately, many manufacturers in the new world of IoT don’t always understand the risks of unpatched software, leaving consumers and enterprises vulnerable to a cyber attack. In this case, organisations that use PremiSys for access control are at a huge risk as patches are not available. Beyond this particular issue, the security industry needs to have a wider dialogue about embedded systems and their maintainability over time. The complexity of the digital infrastructure is increasing, and so is its maintenance. We need vendors to be committed to delivering security patches in a timely manner, and in a fully automated way. Tenable Research is committed to cooperating with willing vendors on coordinated disclosures to help ensure consumers and organisations alike are secure. Industry collaboration is key to helping customers manage, measure and reduce their exposure.”

Tenable Research disclosed the vulnerabilities (CVE-2019-3906, CVE-2019-3907, CVE-2019-3908, CVE-2019-3909), which affect version 3.1.190, to IDenticard following standard procedures outlined in its vulnerability disclosure policy. The team made multiple attempts to contact the vendor. On November 19, Tenable informed CERT of the vulnerability. To reduce the risk of compromise, users should segment their network to ensure systems like PremiSys are isolated from internal and external threats as much as possible.

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