Internet-connected industrial devices could be accessible to anyone, with no password, due to a coding error by a gateway manufacturer.

Taiwanese firm Advantech patched the firmware in some of its serial-to-IP gateway devices in October to remove a hard-coded SSH (Secure Shell) key that would have allowed unauthorized access by remote attackers.

But it overlooked an even bigger problem: Any password will unlock the gateways, which are used to connect legacy serial devices to TCP/IP and cellular networks in industrial environments around the world.

Researchers from security firm Rapid7 discovered the vulnerability in the revised firmware, version 1.98, released for the Advantech EKI-1322 Internet protocol (IP) gateway, which can connect serial and Ethernet devices to a cellular network.

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