Security Experts:

SonicWall Warns of Imminent Ransomware Attacks Targeting Firmware Flaw

Network appliance vendor SonicWall has issued an urgent security notice to warn of imminent data-encrypting ransomware attacks targeting known -- and already patched -- firmware vulnerabilities.

The San Jose, Calif.-based SonicWall said its own threat-intelligence indicates that ransomware actors are "actively targeting" security defects in its Secure Mobile Access (SMA) 100 series and Secure Remote Access (SRA) products running unpatched and end-of-life (EOL) 8.x firmware.

"The exploitation targets a known vulnerability that has been patched in newer versions of firmware," the company warned, urging organizations still using its 8.x firmware to take immediate action.   

"Organizations that fail to take appropriate actions to mitigate these vulnerabilities on their SRA and SMA 100 series products are at imminent risk of a targeted ransomware attack," SonicWall said.

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The company did not provide any additional information on the imminent ransomware attacks.

Instead, the urgent notice was used to push businesses to discontinue appliances running end-of-life SMA and/or SRA firmware 8.x. 

"If your organization is using a legacy SRA appliance that is past end-of life status and cannot update to 9.x firmware, continued use may result in ransomware exploitation."

"[You] should either update the firmware or disconnect  appliances," according to the advisory.

SonicWall said it will provide a free virtual SMA 500v through October 31, 2021 to help customers with end-of-life devices that cannot upgrade to 9.x or 10.x firmware.

This isn't SonicWall's first jostle with ransomware gangs targeting defects in its products. Earlier this year, a zero-day vulnerability in the SonicWall Secure Mobile Access (SMA) was exploited by a sophisticated and aggressive cybercrime group prior to the availability of patches.

Related: DarkSide Ransomware Shutdown: An Exit Scam or Running for Hills 

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Ryan Naraine is Editor-at-Large at SecurityWeek and host of the popular Security Conversations podcast series. Ryan is a veteran cybersecurity strategist who has built security engagement programs at major global brands, including Intel Corp., Bishop Fox and GReAT. He is a co-founder of Threatpost and the global SAS conference series. Ryan's past career as a security journalist included bylines at major technology publications including Ziff Davis eWEEK, CBS Interactive's ZDNet, PCMag and PC World. Ryan is a director of the Security Tinkerers non-profit, an advisor to early-stage entrepreneurs, and a regular speaker at security conferences around the world. Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanaraine.