Talos Vulnerability Report


Sealevel Systems, Inc. SeaConnect 370W OTA update task out-of-bounds write vulnerability

February 1, 2022
CVE Number



An out-of-bounds write vulnerability exists in the OTA update task functionality of Sealevel Systems, Inc. SeaConnect 370W v1.3.34. A specially-crafted MQTT payload can lead to denial of service. An attacker can perform a man-in-the-middle attack to trigger this vulnerability.

Tested Versions

Sealevel Systems, Inc. SeaConnect 370W v1.3.34

Product URLs

SeaConnect 370W - https://www.sealevel.com/product/370w-a-wifi-to-form-c-relays-digital-inputs-a-d-inputs-and-1-wire-bus-seaconnect-multifunction-io-edge-module-powered-by-seacloud/

CVSSv3 Score

6.5 - CVSS:3.0/AV:N/AC:H/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:N/I:L/A:H


CWE-120 - Buffer Copy without Checking Size of Input (‘Classic Buffer Overflow’)


The SeaConnect 370W is a Wi-Fi connected IIoT device offering programmable cloud access and control of digital and analog I/O and a 1-wire bus.

This device offers remote control via several means including MQTT, Modbus TCP and a manufacturer-specific protocol named “SeaMAX API”.

The device is built on top of the TI CC3200 MCU with built-in Wi-Fi capabilities.

The SeaConnect 370W implements an over the air firmware update mechanism which is controlled remotely from the “Sealevel SeaCloud” via an MQTTS connection. When a device comes online, it connects to the SeaCloud MQTTS broker and transmits its current firmware version. When an outdated firmware is detected, a message is published to that device’s command channel detailing the FTP(S) URL containing the new image and the destination filename of the new image.

A specially-crafted MQTT message can lead to a stack-based buffer overflow in the OTA update task, due to the use of the unsafe function strcpy from a not null-terminated string.

The function responsible for parsing this OTA message is ParseToDownloadMessage:

undefined4 ParseToDownloadMessage(OTAUpdateStruct *otastruct_obj,char *payload)

undefined *puVar1;
undefined *puVar2;
size_t sVar3;
void *parsed_payload;
int jObj;
char *temp_array;
dword in_r2;
dword in_r3;
undefined jParser [4];
dword local_2c;

sVar3 = strlen(payload);
if (sVar3 >> 8 == 0) {
    sVar3 = strlen(payload);
else {
    sVar3 = 0x100;
parsed_payload = (void *)malloc(sVar3);
puVar1 = read_volatile_4(PTR_s_ParseToDownloadMessage_20010394);
if (parsed_payload == (void *)0x0) {
    sVar3 = strlen(payload);
    if (sVar3 >> 8 == 0) {
    sVar3 = strlen(payload);
    else {
    sVar3 = 0x100;
else {
    jObj = json_parser_init(jParser,parsed_payload);
    if (jObj == -1) {
    else {
        puVar2 = read_volatile_4(p_Report);
        if (0 < (int)local_2c) {
            temp_array = (char *)malloc(0x100);
            if (temp_array == (char *)0x0) {
            else {
                strncpy((char *)otastruct_obj,temp_array,0xff);
                strncpy((char *)otastruct_obj->dest,temp_array,0xff);                                   [1]
    [...] }

This function takes as argument a OTAUpdateStruct struct pointer that will be filled with the info contained in payload. The OTAUpdateStruct struct is defined as follow:

struct OTAUpdateStruct{
        char        uri[0x100];
        char        dest[0x40];
        uint32_t    crc;

The payload variable is a string that will be parsed as a json to fill the otastruct_obj variable. The json should contain, among the keys, the dest one. The value of the dest json key is used at [1] to populate the otastruct_obj’s dest field. After the underlying OTAUpdateStruct, pointed by otastruct_obj, is populated, the copy_update_structure_and_signal function is called:

void copy_update_structure_and_signal(OTAUpdateStruct *OTA_struct)

undefined *temp_ptr;

temp_ptr = read_volatile_4(PTR_OTAUpdateStruct_2000d7a0);
sl_Memcpy(temp_ptr,OTA_struct,0x144);                                                                   [2]
temp_ptr = read_volatile_4(pg_startDownloadEvent);

The function performs two actions: 1) at [2] copy the object populated in ParseToDownloadMessage in a location used by the OTA update task. 2) signal to the OTA update task that a payload is ready to be parsed.

Eventually the OTA task will call the SeaConnectOTADownload_file function:

bool SeaConnectOTADownload_file
            (OTAUpdateStruct *OTA_struct,undefined4 param_2,undefined4 param_3,dword param_4)

dword dVar4;
OTAUpdateStruct_without_crc OTAUpdate_struct_without_crc;

puVar1 = read_volatile_4(DEFAULT_OTAStruct_WITHOUT_CRC);
dVar4 = 0x140;
strcpy((char *)&OTAUpdate_struct_without_crc,(char *)OTA_struct);
strcpy((char *)OTAUpdate_struct_without_crc.dest,(char *)OTA_struct->dest);                             [3]

The variable OTA_struct is a pointer to the data copied at 2.

The OTAUpdateStruct’s dest field is only 0x40 bytes, but at [1] up to 0xff are copied from the json. Because the OTAUpdateStruct struct used at [1] is just before the one used at [2], this oveflow will not cause a security issue by itself. But the overflow allows the OTAUpdateStruct’s dest string to not have a null terminator. In SeaConnectOTADownload_file the OTAUpdate_struct_without_crc struct used is similar to the OTAUpdateStruct one but without the crc field. The OTA_struct’s uri and dest fields are copied to the correspondent fields in OTAUpdate_struct_without_crc, using strcpy. Because the OTA_struct’s dest field is not null-terminated, the strcpy will copy the OTA_struct’s crc field and everything following it up to encouter a null terminator, resulting in a stack-based buffer overflow.

Here is the beginning of the SeaConnectOTADownload_file function in assembly:

2000cf1e 10 b5           push                       { r4, lr }                                          [4]
2000cf20 04 46           mov                        r4, r0
2000cf22 4f f4 a0 72     mov.w                      r2, #0x140
2000cf26 ad f5 a0 7d     sub.w                      sp, sp, #0x140                                      [5]
2000cf2a 68 46           mov                        r0, sp
2000cf2c 14 f0 e2 ff     bl                         sl_Memcpy
2000cf30 68 46           mov                        r0, sp
2000cf32 21 46           mov                        r1, r4
2000cf34 18 f0 42 fe     bl                         strcpy
2000cf38 40 a8           add                        r0, sp,#0x100
2000cf3a 04 f5 80 71     add.w                      r1, r4, #0x100
2000cf3e 18 f0 3d fe     bl                         strcpy                                              [6]

At [4] this function pushes r4 and lr into the top of the stack, then at [5] the function reserves 0x140 bytes of space, 0x100 for the uri and 0x40 for the dest. At [6] the strcpy is copying the OTA_struct’s dest field into a 0x40 sized buffer. Based on the MQTT message this could cause a buffer overflow overwriting the r4 register with the CRC and lr with what follows in memory.

For example with a MQTT message like this:

    "name": "u-download",
    "payload": "{

After the instruction at [4] the top of the stack would look likes:

0x200372d8:     (r4) 0x20031928      (lr) 0x2000d3a7

And at the end of the function:

0x200372d8:     (r4) 0x41414141      (lr) 0x2000d300

The r4 register was overwritten with the crc field, and the lr’s first byte was overwritten with the null terminator found after the crc. This would result in a crash of the device.


2021-10-21 - Initial vendor contact
2021-10-26 - Vendor disclosure
2022-02-01 - Public Release


Discovered by Francesco Benvenuto and Matt Wiseman of Cisco Talos.