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DPS Equipment Immune to Meltdown Spectre Vulnerability

Jan. 15, 2018

Recently, vulnerabilities in the Intel remote administration feature known as the Management Engine (ME) have been discovered by several independent research groups. The nature of the Intel ME, mixed with what are being called Meltdown Spectre vulnerabilities, could allow remote attackers to gain full control of a targeted computer.

The intended purpose of the Intel-based chip sets with ME enabled was to allow administrators remote access to PCs. They could remotely manage and repair workstations, PCs, and servers within their network, even with the device turned off (as long as it is connected to power and the network).

DPS Telecom products, including the T/Mon LNX Master Station, are immune to Meltdown Spectre Vulnerability plaguing several Intel-based chip sets.

Unfortunately, Meltdown Spectre vulnerabilities discovered by the research groups allow attackers to also remotely access devices through ME. ME has complete access to most all data on the computer, including its system memory and network adapters. Exploitation of this would allow attackers to execute malicious code on the device and completely compromise the platform.

For specifics on the vulnerabilities and which platforms are affected, visit Intel's Security Center for more information.

Are DPS products affected by this security issue?

While RTU manufacturer DPS Telecom uses similar chips in its products, extensive research has been done to be sure that these products are not affected by this security flaws. NetGuardian, NetDog, and TempDefender RTUs have been confirmed with the chip manufacturers to be immune to Meltdown Spectre vulnerabilities.

Similarly, T/Mon products, including T/Mon LNX, T/Mon MINI, and T/Mon SLIM have also been confirmed immune using the manufacturer's diagnostic tool.

While DPS equipment is safe from Meltdown Spectre vulnerabilities, it is important to verify the same for the rest of your network. If the data from DPS products interface with a server or other devices that are vulnerable, it could create a security breach.

What to do next?

If you think your system may be affected, you may consider the following steps:

  1. Diagnose: Use the chip manufacturer's diagnostic tool to verify the vulnerability of your systems.
  2. Update: If you find one or more of your devices are vulnerable, update firmware immediately. The involved chip manufacturers have issued patches for all affected platforms to address security concerns.