Bug Identified in Sophos Permits RCE on Firewalls

  • By Patrick Ryan
  • Mar 30, 2022

A critical digital security bug within Sophos is allowing RCE to infiltrate firewalls. RCE is an acronym that stands for remote code execution. This digital security problem results from the vendor's failure to implement the optimal authentication bypass.

Though Sophos insists the weakness within the firewall has been plugged, only time will tell if the fix proves permanent. Here's a quick look at the details of the bug.

What Do We Know About the Flaw?

The flaw in question is referred to with the formal label of CVE-2022-1040. This bug is a vulnerability best described as an authentication bypass within the Sophos firewall's web admin and user portal. The flaw pertains to version 18.5.3 and older versions of the appliance.

Why is Sophos Worried About the Bug?

The exploit of the bug provides hackers with the ability to control the device, setting the stage for them to ultimately disable the protective firewall and access sensitive information. The disabling of the firewall allows for the addition of new users and the use of the firewall as a launching pad for additional digital infiltrations within the network.  

Though Sophos' representatives refused to provide any technical information about the bug or note its CVSS score, they made it clear that the bug is considered critical. Everyone who uses Sophos should implement the fix as described below.

What is the Fix?

Sophos provided a hotfix to address the bug. However, those who lack automatically enabled updates are required to implement a manual update. Sophos also provided a security advisory that detailed a workaround solution. According to the security advisory, Sophos customers can protect their computer and network against potential attacks by verifying the web admin and user portal are not exposed to WAN.  

In other words, Sophos customers should immediately disable WAN access to the web admin and user portal with the use of device access best practices. As an alternative, these users should use Sophos Central and VPN in the context of working through remote access.

Who Discovered the Digital Security Flaw?

According to Sophos, an independent researcher who has not yet been named was credited with identifying the flaw within the Sophos system. The bug's discovery is crucial as it is the third such bug identified this month alone. Two other bugs were discovered in March, one of which was a bug pertaining to insecure permissions access, and the other was a SQL injection problem post-authentication. Those two initial bugs threatened the digital security vendor's appliance for threat management.
 

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