Attacker Value
Very High

CVE-2020-12271: Sophos XG Firewall Pre-Auth SQL Injection Vulnerability

Disclosure Date: April 27, 2020


(2 users assessed) Very High
Attack Vector
Privileges Required
User Interaction


A SQL injection issue was found in SFOS 17.0, 17.1, 17.5, and 18.0 before 2020-04-25 on Sophos XG Firewall devices, as exploited in the wild in April 2020. This affected devices configured with either the administration (HTTPS) service or the User Portal exposed on the WAN zone. A successful attack may have caused remote code execution that exfiltrated usernames and hashed passwords for the local device admin(s), portal admins, and user accounts used for remote access (but not external Active Directory or LDAP passwords)

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Technical Analysis

The sophos subreddit reveals some insight on why these firewalls were listening on their WAN ports in the first place. In addition the the admin interface, there’s a ‘user portal’ you can enabled, and even that may not be required for exploitation at least anecdotally:

Kind of a smart (and annoying for security analysis :) move for Sophos is they made getting the old software near impossible as soon as they found out about the problem. Contrast with Citrix, which left vulnerable versions of Netscaler up in AWS and other locations available for download long after mass-exploitation had started. Handy for research, but a lot of folks also continued to be popped long after the info was public

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