Home Cyber Crime NUCLEUS:13 – Host of vulnerabilities shatter Nucelus TCP/IP stack defenses

NUCLEUS:13 – Host of vulnerabilities shatter Nucelus TCP/IP stack defenses


Worst safety flaw can result in distant code execution

Researchers have disclosed 13 vulnerabilities in the Nucleus TCP/IP stack

Researchers have disclosed 13 vulnerabilities within the Nucleus TCP/IP stack, the worst of which can be utilized to remotely execute code.

On November 9, Forescout Analysis Labs mentioned the set of safety flaws, collectively named NUCLEUS:13, had been discovered with the help of Medigate Labs in Nucleus NET, the TCP/IP stack of the Nucleus Actual-time Working System (RTOS).

Nucleus, developed by ATI 28 years in the past and now managed by Siemens, is an OS for embedded units which can be thought of ‘safety-critical’ in industries together with manufacturing, the commercial sector, and healthcare.

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In an advisory, the cybersecurity workforce mentioned a complete of 13 vulnerabilities have been discovered, ranging in severity from CVSS 5.3 to 9.8.

Essentially the most severe vulnerability is CVE-2021-31886, a CVSS 9.8 buffer overflow flaw.

That is brought on by the Nucleus FTP server failing to correctly validate the size of the “Person” command, that means that if an authentication request is shipped with a really massive username –whether or not it’s legitimate or not – this may be exploited to set off denial-of-service or to carry out a distant code execution (RCE) assault.

4 different vulnerabilities additionally achieved excessive severity scores: CVE-2021-31346 (CVSS 8.2), an unchecked ICMP payload problem prompting data leaks and denial-of-service situations; CVE-2021-31884 (CVSS 8.8), an out-of-bound learn/write bug brought on by errors in hostname definitions, and each CVE-2021-31887 and CVE-2021-31888 (CVSS 8.8), two FTP server validation command issues which could possibly be used to set off denial-of-service and RCE.

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As well as, eight additional vulnerabilities, thought of much less extreme, had been disclosed:

  • CVE-2021-31344 (CVSS 5.3): ICMP echo packets with faux IP choices could be despatched to hosts
  • CVE-2021-31345 (CVSS 7.5): Unchecked UDP payloads can result in data leaks, denial-of-service
  • CVE-2021-31881 (CVSS 7.1): Size validation failures within the DHCP shopper, resulting in denial-of-service
  • CVE-2021-31882 (CVSS 6.5): Size validation failures in DHCP ACK packets, inflicting denial-of-service
  • CVE-2021-31883 (CVSS 7.1): Size validation failures in DHCP vendor choices, additionally resulting in denial-of-service
  • CVE-2021-31885 (CVSS 7.5): Malformed TFTP instructions could possibly be despatched to learn the TFTP reminiscence buffer
  • CVE-2021-31889 (CVSS 7.5): Info leaks, denial-of-service brought on by malformed TCP packets with corrupted SACK choices
  • CVE-021-31890 (CVSS 7.5): Unchecked TCP payload lengths inflicting information leaks, denial-of-service


Assessing the real-world influence is tough, however when Shodan was first queried on August 5, over 2,200 weak FTP and RTOS cases had been discovered.

“Actual-world exploitation is straightforward to attain for denials of service and tougher for distant code execution as a result of it will depend on specifics of every system,” Forescout advised The Day by day Swig.

“That is true for NUCLEUS:13 […] however in each instances (DoS and RCE), exploitation in-the-wild has to carry a monetary benefit to the attackers, since few incidents these days are usually not financially motivated.”

Forescout has printed an inventory of advisories associated to distributors who could also be impacted by NUCLEUS:13 on GitHub.

Patch now

Siemens has developed patches to resolve the vulnerabilities and system distributors are anticipated to launch their very own updates. Among the bugs had been resolved in earlier stack variations.

The researchers suggest that updates be utilized to weak software program variations as soon as they’re out there.

Forescout advised us that on the time of writing, 1,001 units on Shodan nonetheless comprise the FTP fingerprint and 1,230 comprise the OS fingerprint, modifications of -168 and +140, respectively, or a complete of -28.

As patching embedded units could be “notoriously tough because of their mission-critical nature”, the workforce has additionally supplied exploit mitigation suggestions together with using the Project Memoria script to detect units working Nucleus; the enforcement of segmentation controls, and the advice that community site visitors is monitored for suspicious habits.

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