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Citect CitectSCADA ODBC service buffer overflow

Vulnerability Note VU#476345

Original Release Date: 2008-06-11 | Last Revised: 2008-10-08


Citect CitectSCADA contains a remotely accessible buffer overflow vulnerability which may allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code.


Citect CitectSCADA is software used for monitoring and control in Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. A buffer overflow vulnerability exists in the CitectSCADA ODBC service. The ODBC Server listens on the network (20222/tcp) for service requests from clients. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending specially crafted packets to a vulnerable CitectSCADA system. According to Core Security Technologies Advisory:

    Due to a lack of a proper length checking of the read data, a memory copy operation that uses as destination a buffer of fixed size allocated in the stack can be overflowed allowing an un-authenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code on vulnerable systems.
Note that this vulnerability affects versions of Citect CitectSCADA and CitectFacilities. Exploit code for this vulnerability is publicly available.


A remote, unauthenticated attacker may be able to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service.


Apply a patch

Supported Citect customers should contact Citect to receive a patch. For more information on contacting Citect visit

Restrict access

Restricting access to a vulnerable system by using host or network based firewalls may prevent a remote attacker from exploiting this vulnerability. For more information refer to Citect security article Securing Your SCADA Network.

Restricting access may result in loss of ODBC Server connectivity. According to Core Security Technologies Advisory:

    The vulnerability is located in the ODBC server service, vulnerable organizations that do not require ODBC connectivity may disable the service with no adverse effects to the CitectSCADA software. Installations that require ODBC connectivity to SQL databases, spreadsheets, etc. will suffer loss of connection with ODBC data sources if this workaround is applied. Vulnerable organizations should obtain positive verification that ODBC connectivity is not necessary in their installation and prepare appropriate contingency procedures before the workaround is applied.

Vendor Information


Citect Affected

Notified:  April 14, 2008 Updated: October 06, 2008



Vendor Statement

Citect advises supported customers concerned about this reported issue to contact Citect Global Support Centre for related security advice and to receive the patch if required. Customers can navigate to for advice on how to contact Support via telephone, facsimile, email or the Web portal.

Vendor Information

See also and

CVSS Metrics

Group Score Vector



Thanks to Ivan Arce at Core Securities for information that was used in this report.

This document was written by Chris Taschner.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2008-2639
Severity Metric: 7.35
Date Public: 2008-06-11
Date First Published: 2008-06-11
Date Last Updated: 2008-10-08 21:02 UTC
Document Revision: 35

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