Notice: Legacy SonicWall GMS 8.1 & Earlier Affected by Gafgyt IoT Botnet

First Published:09/10/2018 Last Updated:12/20/2019

The disclosure by Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 is not a vulnerability to the current SonicWall Global Management System (GMS). The issue referenced only affects older versions of the GMS software (versions 8.1 or earlier; no longer supported). GMS 8.1 was replaced by version 8.2 in December 2016.

Customers and partners running GMS 8.2 and newer are not vulnerable. SonicWall and the Capture Labs threat research team continuously update its products to provide industry-leading protection against the latest security threats, so it is crucial that customers use the latest versions of our products.

We recommend that customers with older versions of GMS, which are long out of support, immediately upgrade to GMS 8.2 via

Customers Using GMS 8.1

Customers still using GMS version 8.1 should apply a hotfix supplied by SonicWall in August 2018 and plan for an immediate upgrade; GMS 8.1 went out of support in February 2018.

Customers Using GMS 8.0 or Earlier

For customers using GMS 8.0 or earlier, this process requires two specific upgrade phases:

  1. Follow Directions in KB Article ‘Upgrade from GMS 7.2 to GMS 8.1’
  2. Follow Directions in KB Article ‘Upgrade from GMS 8.1 to 8.2’

If you are unable upgrade, SonicWall recommends blocking access to the XML-RPC port (TCP 21009 by default).

For more information on this specific vulnerability, please review SonicWall PSIRT Advisory SNWLID-2018-0007.

Following Best Practices

The weaponization of published vulnerabilities against old software serves as an important reminder that customers should never procrastinate software updates, as they are one of the most important steps you can take to secure your network against today’s rapidly-evolving threat landscape.

In addition to security fixes, software updates also often include new or enhanced features, or offer better compatibility. They also improve the stability of your software and remove outdated features. All of these updates are aimed at making the user experience better while keeping customers secure.

This announcement also underscores the importance of running intrusion prevention systems (IPS) and a web application firewall (WAF) in front of all critical internet-facing infrastructure.  The protection, effectively virtual patching, provided by IPS and WAF against the Apache Struts and other industry-wide vulnerabilities provides additional time for administrators to plan their update strategy.

Customers running the latest versions of SonicWall solutions can be assured they have best-in-class security across traditional networks, wireless and mobile environments, and endpoints. As demonstrated in the 2018 NSS Labs Next-Generation Firewall Group Test, SonicWall was successful in countering 100 percent of all evasions including URL, FTP, HTTP, Telnet and HTML, as well as obfuscation and fragmentation techniques.