High-Severity Vulnerabilities Patched in Omron PLC Programming Software


Several high-severity vulnerabilities that can be exploited for remote code execution were patched recently in the CX-Programmer software of Japanese electronics giant Omron.

An advisory released earlier this month by Japan’s JPCERT/CC revealed that the product is affected by five use-after-free and out-of-bounds vulnerabilities, all with a CVSS score of 7.8.

CX-Programmer, which is part of Omron’s CX-One automation software suite, is designed for programming and debugging Omron programmable logic controllers (PLCs). According to the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the product is used worldwide, including in the critical manufacturing sector.

The CX-Programmer vulnerabilities affect version 9.76.1 and earlier. The flaws were discovered by security researcher Michael Heinzl, who told SecurityWeek that his findings were reported to the vendor in May and June 2021 through JPCERT/CC.

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The researcher said the vulnerabilities were caused by the lack of proper data validation and successful exploitation could lead to information disclosure or arbitrary code execution. However, exploitation requires user interaction — for example, tricking the targeted user into opening a specially crafted CXP file.

Heinzl has released advisories for each security hole. CVE identifiers have been assigned to each issue.

According to JPCERT/CC, the vulnerabilities were patched in CX-Programmer 9.77, which appears to have been released in January. JPCERT/CC pointed out that the CX-One suite has an auto update feature and most users will not need to take any action to apply the patches. However, users are advised to ensure that the automatic updates are working properly and to contact the vendor if they are having issues with the feature.

CISA has yet to publish an advisory for these vulnerabilities, but the agency typically does inform organizations in the United States about security holes in Omron products.

Heinzl previously identified vulnerabilities in Fuji Electric’s Tellus factory monitoring and operating product, Delta Electronics’ DIAEnergie industrial energy management system, and the myPRO HMI/SCADA product of Czech industrial automation company mySCADA.

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

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