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☐ ☆ ✇ NAS Compares

Terramaster NAS Devices Being Attacked By Deadbolt Ransomware

Par : Rob Andrews

Deadbolt Ransomware Attacking NAS Drives Again – This time it is Terramaster


It pains me to make this post, but yes, Deadbolt ransomware has once again attacked NAS drives and this time the target is Terramaster devices. Although exact details on the attack vector of this ransomware are yet to be confirmed (though I will be updating this article as more information arrives), it looks like a very similar attack to those that affected Asustor last week, using very similar display methods of highlighting the means of paying the ransom, as well as similar ways that people have been alerted to it on their individual systems. Likely candidates at the time of writing point to this either being based around a UPnP weakness (similar to a previous ransomware exploit that was used) or weak network management (either in the ports used or in 3rd party applications poking holes in your firewall etc in order to facilitate remote access). As mentioned, the details are still rather murky and the first reported hit by users online was around 10 hours ago, so similarities in how people have arranged their network/system services are slowly getting pieced together. If you DO own a Terramaster NAS drive right now, I would make the following recommendations:

  • Run a Backup! But check you have not been already hit by the deadbolt ransomware and inadvertently overwrite your ‘god’ backups. I would STRONGLY recommend where possible (space/budget) running a completely new and independent backup of the whole system or at the very least your irreplaceable/mission-critical data
  • Disconnect your system from ANY internet connection unless you are 100% confident that your network security is secure (even a VPN doesn’t avoid the fact some apps and services open router ports as a necessity)
  • Check your system logs for any large number of IP login attempts. Not strictly necessary in this case as the attack vector is still unconfirmed at the time of writing, but check nonetheless
  • Power Down your device unless you are 100% confident that you are untouchable. Although deadbolt is actioned INITIALLY over the internet to push command to the system to conduct a large scale encryption command, delete the encryption key and amend the login screen to their own payment window and key entry. So, if you are BEING attacked by deadbolt ransomware, disconnecting the system from the network internet is not enough (as from THAT point, all operations are being conducted locally (ie inside the system). So power down your device until Terramaster issue a patch to close whatever this exploit is that deadbolt is utilizing
  • At the time of writing, we are still awaiting further information on the deadbolt Active Process (i.e in the task/resource monitor). When that is established, you can use SSH and a suitable command client to patch in and kill the process, HOWEVER, you should disable SSH for now if you HAVE NOT been hit, as this manner of control is how the bulk of ransomware attacks are conducted automatically
  • Change credentials for the admin account. Although TOS 5 (previewed last month here on YouTube) has the option to disable the admin account (as well as a kill switch for all remote access), the current version of TOS 4 does not have this functionality
  • Change your local network and remote access ports from the default 8000, 8080, 8001 etc to something randomized

IF your Terramaster NAS is COMPLETELY isolated from the internet (and you are 100% certain of this, eg you directly PC-to-NAS interface your system OR you run the NAS on an isolated vLAN in your network behind a bunch of layers), then you can largely ignore the above.



 


UPDATED 02/03 08:00 GMT


Since the deadbolt ransomware’s first targetted attacks yesterday, Terramaster has rolled out a new firmware update (TOS version 4.2.30) and they strongly recommend users who have not yet been affected to upgrade now. The update will be available from the usual system settings, software update menu from within the TOS web browser GUI in the window below:



Also, you can choose to manually download the TOS 4.2.30 update directly on TerraMaster official website->SUPPORT->DOWNLOAD page (see image below) here – https://support.terra-master.com/download/



It is VERY IMPORTANT that users understand the following details before they update their Terramaster NAS to this latest firmware updated version:

  • If you install this update, it WILL NOT recover/unencrypt files that have been hit by deadbolt (i.e. files that now carry the ‘.deadbolt’ encryption in their name/format. This update closes the vulnerability that allowed the deadbolt group to inject a command towards your terramaster NAS and carry out the attack.
  • If you install this update, it will remove the black deadbolt entry screen to your Terramaster NAS when accessing it via the web browser. However, in doing this, you will also lose the (arguably crap) option to recover your files by paying the ransom group, getting an encryption key and decrypting your data. Although unaffected users and those who have zero intention of engaging with the deadbolt group will be happy with this, some users who have lost mission-critical /irreplaceable data that might consider this option might want to think about this update a little further. When Deadbolt hit Asustor NAS devices last week, when Asustor issued a firmware update, they also added a small add on in the app center that allowed the end-user to still access this screen in an isolated fashion to still keep the option of getting an (arguably illegally) paid for solution to recovery.
  • Right now, users are attempting to perform recovery with deadbolt files via linux mounted drive setups. It is a painfully slow and low success % operation (as in user base) but if your data is important to you and/or/if you want to resume access to your NAS whilst keeping the encrypted data to one side, I recommend removing the HDD/SSD media (keep track of which drive in which bay) and replace the drives in the Terramaster NAS and re-initialize. Then you can reintroduce those drives to the NAS or to a linux machine in the event of a recovery method becoming possible.

Back to the Original Article.

What Do We Know About the Terramaster NAS Deadbolt Ransomware Attack?


The bulk of the details even at this early stage of the terramaster NAS deadbolt ransomware attack bear alot of similarities to those of the Asustor attack last week (Read the article on that plus all the updates and MOST IMPORTANTLY the comments of that article as there is alot of information on how people have responded/adapted to when this hit them). Most users understood that their Terramaster NAS system was in the process of being hit by deadbolt Ransomware in two very clear ways, one arguably worse than the other. The first was that many of the more value series Terramster NAS systems (2/4 Bay systems at the Dual-Core level) had a sharp and very noticeable rise in system fan activity (and HDD LED lights kicking off incessantly) as the encryption command pushed the system very hard indeed. If you were fortunate enough to spot this early, then there is a reasonable chance that the % of files encrypted would be very low. However, a larger proportion of users found their NAS system was mostly/completely encrypted overnight (or whilst they were out of sight/earshot of the NAS) and their first knowledge of the attack was to be greeted by this (now depressingly familiar in 2022) deadbolt login screen:


Important Message for TERRAMASTER
All your affected customers have been targeted using a zero-day vulnerability in your product. We offer you two options to mitigate this (and future) damage:


1) Make a bitcoin payment of 5 BTC to bc1qhkeecsgmzf2965fg57ll3enqyj7y094lxl5nzm:


You will receive all details about this zero-day vulnerability so it can be patched. A detailed report will be sent to [email protected].


2) Make a bitcoin payment of 15 BTC to bc1qhkeecsgmzf2965fg57ll3enqyj7y094lxl5nzm:


You will receive a universal decryption master key (and instructions) that can be used to unlock all your clients their files. Additionally, we will also send you all details about the zero-day vulnerability to [email protected].


Upon receipt of payment for either option, all information will be sent to you in a timely fashion.


There is no way to contact us.
These are our only offers.
Thanks for your consideration.


Greetings,
DEADBOLT team.


If you are unsure if you have been hit by the deadbolt ransomware attack (i.e. you can still login fine and the login screen has not changed) but want to do a quick checklist on things to monitor. Here is a brief to-do list:

  • Your Remote mounted storage is suffering delayed responses/file opening (eg mapped drives, SMB mounts, etc) as this could mean that these are in use by the system and being encrypted. The same goes if you have a recently accessible remote mount that is now inaccessible
  • Search for .deadbolt in the file manager search bar. It is not the quickest, but any file hit by this will have the .deadbolt file extension
  • Your regular overnight backup(s) failed or took way, WAY too long, as this indicates a large amount of HDD activity taking place at the same time as your regular backups and even 3-4 hard drives in a RAID 5 will struggle to maintain even marginally good input/output actions when these larger volume activities are run simultaneously
  • Your system fans are increasing as drive activity has increased notably (encryption is a hefty task for any system to conduct, especially on the entire storage pool/volumes/etc
  • Your HDD/SSD LEDs are going NUTS! This also applies if you are using larger than 8TB drives or larger Seagate Ironwolfs NAS drives, Ultrastar, Red Pros, EXOs, etc as these Pro/Ent class drives make some real noise in heavy crunch activity such as large scale encryption

Currently (01/03/22 930AM GMT) Terramaster has yet to issue a formal statement on this or a firmware update, but the attack is around 12 hours old at most. Still, this is now the 3rd Deadbolt attack to hit NAS brands in the last 6 months (Asustor and QNAP previously) and alongside the earlier attack of a vulnerability in TOS at the start of the year. There are hopes that the current TOS 5.0 update (still in Beta) will feature improvements in it’s network security and how much access installed apps have to the core system administration.

What Does Terramaster Advise to Prevent the Deadbolt Ransomware?


Terramaster has responded to this recent Deadbolt ransomware attack of their NAS systems with the following statement:


Recently, we have received reports of some TNAS devices being attacked by Deadbolt Ransomware. Based on the case analysis, we initially concluded that this was an external attack against TNAS devices. To protect your data from Deadbolt, please take action now!


If your NAS works normally, we suggest you take the following countermeasures:


1. Upgrade your TOS to the latest version;


2. Install good anti-virus software on your computer, TNAS device and router to help you detect and resist malicious threats;


3. Disable port forwarding on your router. After disabling this function, you will not be able to access TNAS through the TNAS device bound to the DDNS external network.


4. Disable the UPnP function on your TNAS. After disabling, your PC, multimedia box, TV and other devices may not be able to access TNAS through UPnP protocol, please use DLNA, NFS, SMB protocol to access TNAS instead.


For more detailed measures, please refer to the following link:


https://www.terra-master.com/global/press/index/view/id/1143/


 


If you find that your NAS has unfortunately been affected by Deadbolt Ransomware, please follow the steps as below:


  1. Remove the LAN network cable from your TNAS device immediately.


  2. Power off your TNAS; x.86 models: short press the power button; ARM models: long-press the power button 3 seconds.


  3. Do not initialize your NAS as this will erase your data. 


  4. Please contact the online support on our official website or email to [email protected] directly.


Additionally, there is a great deal of activity in the last 12 hours on the official support forums on this, with a Terramaster Customer Representative issuing the following response to an initial enquiry on deadbolt ransomware attacks:



Right now, Asustor has yet to issue further information on recovery on this (unless I have updated this article above with further information), but I would recommend following the steps provided by other NAS brands in the wake of a ransomware attack such as this:

  • Change your password.
  • Use a strong password.
  • Change default HTTP and HTTPS ports. Default ports are 8000 and 8001 respectively.
  • Change web server ports. Default ports are 80 and 443.
  • Turn off Terminal/SSH and SFTP services and other services you do not use.
  • Make regular backups and ensure backups are up to date.

Until the attack vector is established, I would recommend going ‘all in’ on updating your security settings. Although a lot of the changes relating to password changes seem unrelated to this, without having a complete throughline on similarities between users, it is best to dot every i and cross every t!

Is There A Solution, Restoration or Recovery Method Currently Available to Deadbolt Affected Terramaster NAS?


As it stands, there is no resolution available from Terramaster NAS if your files have been encrypted by Deadbolt ransomware. other than paying the ransom (which would suck!) many are looking at methods of recovery using linux based mounting of the drives and accessing any snapshots in a BTRFS volume (or using PhotoRec/TeskDisk in the hope of reverting the files), but even then, there is little currently possible to recover affected files. That may not always be the case and I would still recommend keeping the encrypted files (in a 2nd location if you need to format your terramaster for continued use) as recovery methods might become available in weeks/months from now. Terramaster issued an updated press release on this with further instructions on disabling specific services, We suggest you take the following countermeasures:

  1. Upgrade your TOS to the latest version;
  2. Install good anti-virus software on your computer, TNAS device and router to help you detect and resist malicious threats;
  3. Disable port forwarding on your router. After disabling this function, you will not be able to access TNAS through the TNAS device bound to the DDNS external network.
  4. Disable the UPnP function on your TNAS. After disabling, your PC, multimedia box, TV and other devices may not be able to access TNAS through UPnP protocol, please use DLNA, NFS, SMB protocol to access TNAS instead.

  1. Disable RDP, SSH and Telnet when not in use;


Additional Changes Here:


  1. Change the default port of FTP. When you use the FTP protocol to access, please pay attention to bringing the port, such as ftp://192.168.0.1:1990.

  1. Set a high security level password for all users;

  2. Disable the system default admin account, re-create a new admin account, and set an advanced password;
    Note: For versions after TOS 4.2.09, you can set the administrator account without using the default admin username when installing the system. If it was upgraded from a version before TOS 4.2.09, you need to reset the system configuration, then you can customize the user name.

  3. Enable firewall and only allow trusted IP addresses and ports to access your device;
    a. Go to Control Panel > General Settings > Security > Firewall.
    b. Create a firewall rule and choose the operation of allow or deny.
    c. Fill in the IP range you allow or deny access to. If you fill in the network you want to deny access to, please fill in the subnet address correctly, otherwise it may cause your existing devices to be unable to access TNAS.

  1. Avoid using default port numbers 5443 for https and 8181 for http. After changing, please enter IP:Port in the browser address bar, such as 192.168.0.1:8186.
  2. Enable automatic IP block in TOS Control Panel to block IP addresses with too many failed login attempts;

  1. Backing up data is the best way to deal with malicious attacks; always back up data, at least one backup to another device. It is strongly recommended to adopt a 3-2-1 backup strategy.

 


If your Terramaster NAS was NOT affected, I would still recommend disabling remote/internet access., as the act vectors are not clear and there are reports from some users right now that state that they had the latest firmware, they were still hit. Therefore right now there is so much unconfirmed info here to allow remote access (in my opinion) and until further info is made available, I strongly recommend disconnecting your Terramaster NAS from the internet (wire AND via the software settings) and getting your backups in order. I will update this article soon as more information becomes available.


 

☐ ☆ ✇ NAS Compares

Asustor NAS Uninitialized Repair After Deadbolt Ransomware – Getting Back to ADM, Avoiding the Black Threat Screen & Seeing What Remains of your Data

Par : Rob Andrews

Getting Your Asustor NAS System Up and Running Again After Ransomware Attack


It has now been a few days since the initial attack of Asustor NAS systems by the deadbolt ransomware attack and although full recovery is still not a complete option for a lot of users (without having to take the agonizing step of paying the group for an encryption key – gah!), there have been steps by users, the linux community and Asustor to mitigate some of the damage for some and for those unaffected, allow them to use their systems with a little more confidence and comfort. Below are some instructions that will be of use to users who are currently in the following situations with their Asustor NAS:

  • When the encryption/attack first started (or you first noticed the NAS activity) you powered down your system abruptly and your NAS now shows as Uninitialized’
  • You Have the Asustor NAS working, but are being greeted by the black deadbolt threat screen that you want to navigate around WITHOUT using SSH/Command line
  • You are in either of the above two positions AND you have snapshots or a MyArchive routine setup on your NAS

If any of those three setups are how you would describe the position that you/your Asustor NAS is currently in, then you may well find this guide useful. However, DO remember that you are still dealing with your data and although this guide has been provided for the most part by the band themselves (with additions by myself – Robbie), you should immediately have a backup of your data (even if it’s encrypted in case of a system failure etc) and/or an external drive ready to move any/all data over too. If you caught the ransomware encryption early, then you might still have a  good % of your data still ok. Observing numerous affected machines have shown us that the encryption/changes begin at the system level (ie so it can change the index screen and renaming, etc), so in some cases, some people have reported that they caught it in time for some data to have been RENAMED (i.e the .deadbolt prefix that is affecting access or older structure in some cases) but not actually encrypted. So, this guide is about getting you into a position to access your Asustor NAS GUI and whatever the state of your data is. After that, you may still have no option but to format your system, wait for any kind of brand/community recovery method or (and I do not say this lightly, as the thought of continuing this kind of behaviour is disgusting) pay the ransom to get your data back. I appreciate that this is S&!T but some business users might have little choice. Let’s discuss access recovery options. If you are unaware of everything that has occurred to asustor and the deadbolt ransomware, you can use the attached video below:


Asustor NAS – How to Get Your NAS Running Again If It Is Saying Uninitialized


If you powered down your NAS abruptly when you saw the black threat screen OR unusual activity on your NAS (either by pulling the power cord or holding the power button for 5-10 seconds), then chances are that as the encryption hits the system files first and was in progress, that your NAS is not showing as ‘uninitialized’. This is because the system software is no corrupted. Yesterday Asustor released a new firmware update that closed the vulnerability (they claim, I have not verified personally yet). So, the following steps in the guide using the client desktop software Control Center and an internet connection (can be just on your PC/Mac and you directly connect with your Asustor if you choose) will allow you to access your NAS login GUI.



If you have shut down before, please connect to a network. If you enter the initialization page, please follow the instructions below to update your NAS:


Step 1

  • If you enter the initialization page and have an Internet connection, please press Next.

  • Please click Live update and then click Next.


Step 2

  • If you’re on the initialization screen and not connected to the Internet, please download ADM from ASUSTOR Downloads to your computer.
  • Once done, manually update ADM by uploading the ADM image file from your computer as shown below.
  • Please press Next.


Step 3

  • Update.
  • After the update has completed, you’ll be able to return to ADM.

Asustor NAS – If You Are Still Seeing the Black Threat Deadbolt Ransomware Screen


If you have access to your NAS drive BUT are faced with the black threat login screen replacement that replaced the previous one AND have followed the previous steps to install the latest firmware, the next three steps should allow your to navigate AROUND this and remove it entirely.


If the ransomware page remains after you connect to a network:

  • Please turn off your NAS, remove all hard drives and reboot.
  • When the initialization page appears, reinsert the hard drives.
  • Please follow the instructions above to update your NAS.

Asustor NAS – How to Restore Data with Snapshots, MyArchive Backups or Mirrored Volumes


Now, the next step is not going to be an option for everyone. Once you have logged in and accessed the extent of the file damage by encryption (eg, % of files affected, are they encrypted completely OR just renamed? etc). The following steps will be of use to those of you who are running a BTRFS setup and setup snapshots and/or the MyArchive backup/sync storage service. This part of the guide also includes the means to install a ransomware tool that (I know, ANNOYINGLY) gain access BACK to the black encryption entry screen. So if you have no choice (I am not judging you, the importance of your data is your call) and are going to choose to pay the ransom as it is going to cost you less than not retrieving your data, then you can use this ‘ransomware status’ tool to gain access back to the payment screen, encryption key window and ultimately allows you to pay the hackers. Again, it’s your call.


If you want to restore data and you have more than one volume installed on your NAS, use MyArchive drives, or have previously made Btrfs snapshots, please refer to the following instructions below. Restore all backups that you may have. Alternatively, if you have Btrfs snapshots, use Snapshot Center to restore previous versions of files and erase changes done by ransomware.



If regular backups were not kept and you want to enter the decryption key to retrieve lost data:


  • Confirm details and press Install.

  • Wait for installation to complete.

  • Reload the webpage to enter the ransomware screen again. You’ll be able to enter the decryption key.

  • If you want to return to ADM, you can do this in one of three ways. You can add backup.cgi after/portal/ in the address bar of your browser, you can hold the power button for three seconds to shut your NAS down and turn it on again or you may use ASUSTOR Control Center or AiMaster to restart your NAS.


 


  • Afterwards, it is imperative to uninstall Ransomware Status from App Central.


 

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☐ ☆ ✇ NAS Compares

Asustor NAS Drives getting hit by Deadbolt Ransomware

Par : Rob Andrews

If you own an Asustor NAS and are reading this – CHECK IT NOW


Original Article – As of around 1 hour ago, multiple users online are reporting that their Asustor NAS systems have been attacked by ransomware known as Deadbolt. Much like the ransomware attack of QNAP NAS systems of the same name, this is a remote-command-pu#sh encryption attack that takes advantage of a vulnerability in the system software to command the system to encrypt the data on the NAS system, but with the added twist in this recent update of adding a new login GUI style space screen asking for 0.03BTC.


Updated 24/02 09:45 GMT


Asustor has just released a firmware update for their ADM 4 systems (HERE) for users who have not been hit by the Deadbolt ransomware attack, who are keeping their systems offline and/or powered down until the security issue/vulnerability was identified and neutralized. Here are the Asustor details on this:


An emergency update to ADM is provided in response to Deadbolt ransomware affecting ASUSTOR devices. ASUSTOR urges all users to install the latest version of ADM as soon as possible to protect themselves and minimize the risk of a Deadbolt infection. ASUSTOR also recommends taking measures to guard against the potential harms of Deadbolt in accordance with the previously announced protective measures. Please review the measures below to help increase the security of your data on your ASUSTOR NAS.

  • Change your password.
  • Use a strong password.
  • Change default HTTP and HTTPS ports. Default ports are 8000 and 8001 respectively.
  • Change web server ports. Default ports are 80 and 443.
  • Turn off Terminal/SSH and SFTP services and other services you do not use.
  • Make regular backups and ensure backups are up to date.

In response to increasing numbers of ransomware attacks, ASUSTOR has committed to an internal review of company policies to regain customer trust. This includes, but is not limited to increased monitoring of potential security risks and strengthening software and network defenses. ASUSTOR takes security very seriously and apologizes for any inconvenience caused.


Updated 23/02 21:03 GMT


Much like the deadbolt attack on QNAP devices earlier in 2022, in the changed index GUI on affected NAS’, the deadbolt team are offering to provide information to ASUSTOR about the zero-day vulnerability used to breach NAS devices and the master decryption for all affected users to get their data back. The DeadBolt link includes a link titled “important message for ASUSTOR,” which displays a message from DeadBolt for the attention of ASUSTOR. DeadBolt orchestrators are offering to details of the vulnerability if ASUSTOR pays them 7.5 BTC, worth $290,000. DeadBolt is also offering ASUSTOR the master decryption key for all victims and the zero-day breakdown explained for 50 BTC, worth $1.9 million. The ransomware operation states that there is no way to contact them other than making the bitcoin payment. However, once payment is made, they say they will send the information to the [email protected] email address.



Updated 06:50 GMT



Asustor has issued the following statement and recommendation for those who are (or believe they have been affected by the Deadbolt ransomware):


In response to Deadbolt ransomware attacks affecting ASUSTOR devices, ASUSTOR EZ-Connect, ASUSTOR EZ Sync, and ezconnect.to will be disabled as the issue is investigated. For your protection, we recommend the following measures:


Change default ports, including the default NAS web access ports of 8000 and 8001 as well as remote web access ports of 80 and 443.
Disable EZ Connect.
Make an immediate backup.
Turn off Terminal/SSH and SFTP services.


For more detailed security measures, please refer to the following link below:
https://www.asustor.com/en-gb/online/College_topic?topic=353


If you find that your NAS has been affected by Deadbolt ransomware, please follow the steps listed below.
1. Unplug the Ethernet network cable
2. Safely shut down your NAS by pressing and holding the power button for three seconds.
3. Do not initialize your NAS as this will erase your data.
4. Fill out the form listed below. Our technicians will contact you as soon as possible.


https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScOwZCEitHGhiAeqNAbCPysxZS43bHOqGUK-bGX_mTfW_lG3A/viewform


Regarding filling out the technical support form, this is likeLy to help the brand identify the scale of the issue, but also allow a faster sharing (to those affected) of any recovery tools that might be possible. However, the culprit is looking increasingly like the EZ Connect Asustor Remote service. This has been further backed up by the fact that the official Asustor ADM demo page has also been hit by the Deadbolt ransomware (now taken offline). Additionally, many users who powered down their device during the deadbolt attack, upon rebooting their NAS system have been greeted with the message in the Asustor Control Center application that their system needs to be ‘re-initialized’. The most likely reason for this is that during the encryption processes, the core system files are the first files that get targeted and if the system was powered down/powered off immediately during this process, it may have corrupted system files. We are currently investigating if a recovery via mounting a drive in a Linux machine is possible (in conjunction with roll-back software such as PhotoRec).



If your Asustor NAS is in the process of being hit (even if you simply suspect it) as your HDDs are buzzing away unusually (and the HDD LEDs are flickering at an unusual hour), then it is recommended that you head into the process manager and see if the encryption process has been actioned by Deadbolt. The following suggestion of action was suggested by NAScompares commenter ‘Clinton Hall’ :


My solution so far, login vis ssh as root user


cd /volume0/usr/builtin
ls


you will see a 5 digit binary executable file For me it was 22491. I use that in the following command to get the process ID


ps | grep 22491


from this I got the Process id 25624. I kill that process


kill 25624


I then remove the binary file


chattr -i 22491
rm -f 22491


Now, restore the index as above


cd /usr/webman/portal
chattr -i index.cgi
rm index.cgi
cp index.cgi.bak index.cgi


Now for the fun part…. a LOT of file had been renamed (not encrypted) to have .deadbolt appended to the end of the filename… So rename them back


(note, you may want to do this folder by folder and check it is working). The following will do for the entire /volume1


cd /volume1
find . -type f -name "*.deadbolt" -exec bash -c 'for f; do base=${f##*/}; mv -- "$f" "${f%/*}/${base//.deadbolt/}"; done' _ {} +


After these are all renamed, everything should work. Probably a good idea to reboot to restart the services etc.


Also, I’m not sure if the above will definitely traverse the [email protected] etc… so I did this manually


cd /volume1/[email protected]
find . -type f -name "*.deadbolt" -exec bash -c 'for f; do base=${f##*/}; mv -- "$f" "${f%/*}/${base//.deadbolt/}"; done' _ {} +


If you have not been hit, I would recommend you action the following from within your Asustor NAS (or better yet, where possible) power the device down until an official statement and a possible firmware patch is issued.

  • Disable EZ Connect
  • Turn off automatic updates
  • Disable SSH (if you do not need it for other services)
  • Block all NAS ports of the router, and only allow connections from inside the network

Updated 19:30 GMT


More details are coming up and it looks like (at least looking at the messages on the official Asustor  Forum and Reddit) the vulnerability stems from a vulnerability in EZConnect that has been exploited (still TBC). User billsargent on the official Asustor forums has posted some useful insights into how to get around the login screen and also details on the processes:


Take your NAS OFF of ezconnect. Block its traffic incoming from outside.
This overwrites the index.cgi with their own. In /usr/webman/portal there is a backup copy of your index there.
To remove theirs, you need to chattr -i index.cgi and replace it with the backup.
But you’ll also have to kill the process. Mine had a process that was just numbers running. I killed it, then deleted it. In /tmp there was another binary that was just numbers.
This is probably not possible to fix without a reset but you can get back into your portal with the above info. Right now though mine is still immediately replacing the index.cgi. 


And:


I am assuming you have ssh capabilities? If so you just need to ssh in and login as root and run these commands. This should help you get back into the portal.


cd /usr/webman/portal
chattr -i index.cgi
rm index.cgi
cp index.cgi.bak index.cgi


If you look at the index.cgi they created before you delete it, its a text script.
I am still in the investigative stages but nothing in my shares have been locked up with this yet. Just things in /root so far.
I’ve pulled out a ton of LTO tapes to backup my data. I think this is going to require a full reset. I hope asustor releases a fix for this but I will never again allow my NAS to have outside access again.


For clarification. This is what my /usr/webman/portal directories looked like. the .bak file is the original index.cgi.
I apologize if my posts seem jumbled up a bit. I’m trying to help and also figure this out as well. So I’m relaying things as I find them in hopes that others will be able to at least get back to their work.


Thank you to Asustor user billsargent for the above and full credit to him on this of course.


(Continuing with the Original Article from 21/02 17:30 GMT)


Although it is still very early in the actioning of this encryption attack, these attacks are slowly starting to emerge on forums right now, as well as twitter, see below:

やばい!!家のASUSTOR製NASがDEADBOLTとか言うランサムウェアに攻撃された!QNAP製のNASに最近入るってのは見たけど、まさか自分のNASもやられるとは…
そこまで大事なデータ入れてなかったのが不幸中の幸いだけど700GBくらいのデータ死んだのショックASUSTOR NAS使ってる人すぐネット切断した方がいい pic.twitter.com/gBFu8yx4hG


— sudara (@sudara_hodara) February 21, 2022



Additionally, this splash message contains a call-out to Asustor themselves (much like the QNAP NAS deadbolt attack) that states a message and a link for the brand to open a discussion (i.e pay) towards a master key and details of the vulnerability they have exploited:


“All your affected customers have been targeted using a zero-day vulnerability in your product. We offer you two options to mitigate this (and future) damage:”


Details are still emerging, so I will keep this article short and sweet for now (and add more later as details emerge), if you own an Asustor NAS drive, check it immediately! Regardless of whether you have enabled remote access via EZConnect or not (as that is not necessarily the key to the attack vector and possible remote DLNA port changes by your system, for example), check it now and ideally disconnect it from the internet. Currently, there is not enough information to ascertain if this relates to a case of ‘out of date firmware’ having an existing vulnerability or something inherent in the current firmware. Regardless, check your system and where possible, disconnect it from the internet until further details are confirmed here, on reputable sites such as Bleeping Computer or via direction from Asustor themselves.



Once you log into your NAS, check your logs and check your processes. If you have the means to backup to a NEW location, do so. DO NOT overwrite your existing backups with this backup unless you are 100% certain you have not been hit by deadbolt ransomware.

What to Do if you have been hit by the Deadbolt Ransomware


If you have been hit by the vulnerability, you will likely be unable to connect remotely with your NAS files/folders. Even if you can, you need to check whether you can open them or they have been encrypted to a new format (the extension/ .type or file will have changed). The following users commented onreddit and there are similar threads that we can see on their setup and how they got hit.


IF you still have access to your files, get your backups in order!!!!!


Otherwise, if you have been hit by this, then you need to disconnect your system from the internet. Killing any processes in the task manager is an option HOWEVER do bear in mind that doing so might corrupt currently encrypting files and therefore stop any kind of recovery. I am checking with a couple of affected users (as well as reaching out to Asustor as we speak to see if a suitable course of action can be recommended. Some users who have restarted their system or immediately pulled the power and rebooted have found that their system now states that it needs to be reinitialized.


One big factor to keep in mind right now is that not is still unclear if a) the deadbolt ransomware can be killed as a system process in the Asustor control center (I do not have an Asustor NAS that is affected in my possession right now) and b) if switching your system off DURING the deadbolt attack can lead to the data being unsalvagable as the encryption is partway through. So, disconnect from the internet (physically and via EZConnect for now) and if you can see youR CPU usage spiking and/or your HDD LEDs going nuts, you are likely being hit.

My Asustor NAS is Saying it is Uninitialized


DO NOT RE-INITIALIZE YOUR NAS. At least not yet, if you have already powered your NAS as a reaction to the attack (understandable, if not the best choice without knowing the full attack vectors or how this affects the encryption) and you are being greeted by the option to reinitialize in the Asusto Control Center application, then power the device down again. But again, I only recommend this action right now for those that already reacted to the attack by shutting down their system/restarting already post-attack

If I am not hit by Deadbolt, Should I disconnect my Asustor NAS from the internet?


For now, YES. As the act vectors are not clear and there are reports from some users right now that state that they had the latest firmware, they were still hit, there is so much unconfirmed info here to allow remote access (in my opinion) and until further info is made available, I strongly recommend disconnecting your Asustor NAS from the internet (wire AND via the software settings) and getting your backups in order.


I will update this article soon as more information becomes available.


 



 


 

☐ ☆ ✇ NAS Compares

Are QNAP NAS Safe?

Par : Rob Andrews

Are QNAP NAS Drives Safe Enough to Use in 2022?

Are you a QNAP NAS owner? Perhaps you are considering buying a QNAP NAS based on a recommendation from a friend, work colleague, IT professional or even myself (Robbie) on YouTube. The appeal of owning your own server, cutting the connection with your subscription cloud providers such as Dropbox or Google drive, having all your data backed up in-house and that feeling of pure control/ownership is hard to underestimate. However, over the last 2 years or more, it has been hard to ignore that the brand has suffered a series of security issues surrounding the subject of ransomware – a process whereby your data is encrypted with a unique, near uncrackable cypher and a document (typically a .txt) is left for you with instructions for you to make a payment in bitcoin to a predesignated account in order for instructions and the key to recovery your data. Ransomware in of itself is not new and originally dates back to 1996 under the name cryptoviral extortion (you didn’t come here for a history lesson, but the wiki covers a lot of those early developments into the concept) and is frighteningly easy to conduct IF an intruder has access to your system and/or the means to inject the command to encrypt the data inside of any system. Words like virus, hack and malware have been thrown around the internet for the last 20-30 years, however, Malware feels significantly more organized and comparatively recent, as well as being something that has been enacted on all storage platforms, such as Google Drive (thanks to sync tools), Apple was directly hit in 2021 and over 300 BIG name companies that you WILL of heard of in the last 18 months that included:

Acer, FujiFilm, Northern UK Rail, Exabyte Web Hosting, Foxtons, The Salvation Army, Shutterfly Photography, Bose Sound, The NRA, Kronos CRM systems, Gigabyte Motherboards, Volvo, SPAR, Olympus Cameras, GUESS Fashion, ADATA, CD Projekt, Travelex, SK Hynix, Capcom, Crytek, Kmart

Those are just a brief scan of confirmed news reports and only a small fraction of the companies, brands and institutions that have been successfully targetted. Tech companies, media companies, charities and countless retail outlets. Why am I going through all this? Well, 1, these companies should have exceptionally sophisticated storage and remote access protocols in place, 2, cannot use the excuse of being companies with practically no formal association with high-level storage and 3, are companies with a responsibility to protect significantly custom databases that eventually fell foul (partially or fully) to vulnerabilities. Personally, I DO think QNAP have blame that they need to acknowledge publically, made significant errors in these ransomware attacks AND have handled a number of the follow-up actions to these incidents very poorly (both in terms of communication and execution). However, I do also think that the end-user base is also not completely innocent and alongside ascertaining whether the brand is safe to use in 2022, we should also think about how we store data, the limits of our own due diligence and our expectations from server devices.

Important – If you are currently unaware of the Deadbolt ransomware attack that took place on QNAP NAS devices, you can find out more in the NASCompares article and video here. Additionally, if you have been affected by ransomware on your storage solution (QNAP or whatever brand), this post is not intended to play ‘blame games’ or detract from the impact (personally or professionally) that it has caused. I have experienced ransomware attacks, malware attacks through my browser, virus attacks on my OS and seen my fair share of attacks fail and (annoying) succeed. Please do not take this article in the spirit of ‘get stuffed, It’s your fault!”, but as a means of dissecting the current state of play at QNAP NAS and the realistic expectations/responsibilities of all involved.

PSA – GET YOUR BACKUPS IN ORDER!

Before you even go one paragraph further, I have a simple question for you – do you have a backup in place? If yes, then carry on to the next part. If not, and I cannot stress this enough, GET ONE NOW. The time you are spending reading this you could be susceptible to data loss in about 10 different ways without even factoring in ransomware (Power failure leading to hard drive corruption, Malware from a slightly iffy google search this morning, cloud storage provider going bust, OS failure on your device, etc). In this day and age owning a sufficient data backup is as sensible as buying a raincoat or looking both ways when you cross the street – you don’t do it because you like rain or like looking at cars, you do it because they are peace of mind, they are a safety net, they are for caution in case of the worst. It is a bit tenuous, but owning one or multiple backups always make me think of this quote from Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King:

shawshank redemption book

“There are really only two types of men in the world when it comes to bad trouble,” Andy said, cupping a match between his hands and lighting a cigarette. “Suppose there was a house full of rare paintings and sculptures and fine old antiques, Red? And suppose the guy who owned the house heard that there was a monster of a hurricane headed right at it. One of those two kinds of men just hopes for the best. The hurricane will change course, he says to himself. No right-thinking hurricane would ever dare wipe out all these Rembrandts, my two Degas horses, my Jackson Pollocks and my Paul Klees. Furthermore, God wouldn’t allow it. And if worst comes to worst, they’re insured. That’s one sort of man. The other sort just assumes that hurricane is going to tear right through the middle of his house. If the weather bureau says the hurricane just changed course, this guy assumes it’ll change back in order to put his house on ground zero again. This second type of guy knows there’s no harm in hoping for the best as long as you’re prepared for the worst.” 

Get a Backup in place

More Ransomware Attacks than Any other NAS Brand?

WannaCry, QLocker, eChoraix, Deadbolt, how, many, times…

Probably the most compelling argument against the safety of QNAP for many buyers is the simple fact that they seem to have been in the news more than any other NAS brand for reasons of ransomware attacks. Indeed, even a quick browse of the last 24 months on the site ‘Bleeping Computer’ for stories on QNAP shows you that there have been multiple vulnerabilities found in their software/access that have allowed encryption commands to be injected into the QNAP NAS system to execute the ransomware attacks. How can this one brand be such a soft target? What are they doing wrong? Well as it stands, reading through news posts before/after previous ransomware attacks, as well as the dissection of evens on the official forums in the midst of the current Deadbolt attack, the consistent threads are:

  • QNAP is rolling out software and services with weak default settings and acceptable minimums to allow inexperienced users to open up external access WITHOUT the users understanding the risks
  • QNAP has weaknesses in it’s software that the brand arguably takes a more reactive, than proactive stance on repairing
  • QNAP’s recommendations on actions to user post-ransomware attack both publically and in 1-to-1 dialogue with users has been felt unsatisfactory
  • Your QNAP NAS is better off currently used offline/network only

As general as all that might sound (without letting personal opinions colour it) those are largely the four core issues for many that have voiced their feelings on this in the forums. Moving away from the hefty subject of data loss slightly (we will be returning to that in a bit, but that is a question of Backups and routines to discuss), there is the fact that there have been vulnerabilities found in QNAP 1st party applications and services – but then again, so have there been in different NAS brand’s own services too. A click look at their respective Security Advisory pages will tell you this. This doesn’t exonerate QNAP in any way here with deadbolt, as part of the ‘social agreement’ between the end-user and QNAP is that as long as we ‘follow due diligence in protecting the data inside the NAS as directed AND maintain our own network/router setup, the QNAP NAS should protect our data inside the NAS to the best of it’s ability. This is where it all becomes problematic. As QNAP have never successfully balanced the line between giving the user freedom, control and customization WHILST still preventing the user from doing anything self-harming without a full idea of the consequences. It’s a line that their biggest competitor Synology seems to toe better and this comparison only serves to re-enforce the feeling (and numbers) that QNAP are attacked more. So, how can QNAP change this perception and what have QNAP actioned so far?

The Nature and Practice of Firmware Updates – Prevention & Cures

“Remind me Tomorrow” click

Though sometimes NOT the means with which a vulnerability in the QNAP NAS software/services is achieved, it is still a factor in some instances that updating to a later firmware would actually have closed a vulnerability. However, this is a remarkably broad statement and the truth is a great deal more nuanced. First, we have to understand that ALL software that has a remote access component via the internet will likely be investigated by cybercriminals for weaknesses. Not just NAS ones – ALL of them, from Microsoft office and Android mobile OS, to your LG TV and Amazon FireTV. Hell, I bet there are people who have investigated the ‘buy now’ option of WINRAR in effort to see if an opening exists to use it as a ransomware entry vector. What I am saying is that as soon as a commercially popular software with internet access exists, people are going to try and take it apart to find out its weaknesses for exploitation. If/When these weaknesses are found and actioned (or submitted to the brand for bounty programs – whereupon brands ask people to try and break their software, so they can make it better/safer/improved), the brand then issues a firmware update to the affected software/services to its user base, then around the merry-go-round we go again! This is not a process that happens daily – but it definitely happens weekly or monthly (depending on the frequency of the brand to instigate the changes that are raised to them). This is why is it so common for companies that are affected by ransomware in their software/services to immediately highlight the need for firmware updates. At that point, the attack vector and vulnerability is reverse engineered, patched and closed. Many of these vulnerabilities are small. Very, VERY small sometimes. Indeed, it is for this reason that all the reputable NAS brands have security advisory pages that list current weaknesses, vulnerabilities and issues on their platform that are being investigated (Synology HERE, Asustor HERE and yes, QNAP HERE) and in all my time in the world of network-attached storage, I do not think I have ever seen one of these pages have ‘100% resolved’, but when something is resolved the resolution is invariably rolled into an update. So what we can take from this is that although firmware updates do not completely remove the possibility of new vulnerabilities being found in the future, they do seemingly close the bulk of existing vulnerabilities that have been found by/volunteered to the brand.

So why do we not install the firmware updates automatically? This isn’t limited to NAS of course! From the Mac notification that have been nagging you at the top right of your screen, to the windows update at the bottom right and all those applications on your phone that are asking you to please install the latest updates to your software – we choose to ignore them til ‘later’! Worse still, there is the old ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ mentality that will often result in many users only installing smaller updates, but flat out avoiding the BIG updates as they can ‘change where everything is’ or ‘I heard it breaks a bunch of stuff’. Businesses in particular with shared files in their thousands are always reluctant to run any process that can suspend that access temporarily or change how something works. So, there we have a fine melting pop of ingredients that has led (in some instances, but not all – as we will go further go into) to many users being hit by ransomware attacks via vulnerabilities that, although patches were available, were not actioned. How do we resolve this? Forced update that leaves the user’s own hesitance out of the equation? Limitations of the system’s remote connectivity unless the latest firmware update is installed (console gamers will be very familiar with that method of course)? Or a 50/50 split where minor updates are optional, but larger ones are mandatory? It’s a tough tight rope to walk. So, let’s see how QNAP walked/walks this tight rope and how they could have possibly done it ALOT better.

System Updates and Updates that are QNAP Forced?

Forced? Optional? Access Penalties?

As mentioned, tighter control of firmware implementation would allow the brand to ensure that QNAP NAS that have internet accessibility are updated to a high/current firmware revision. Alternatively, the brand could limit the systems external connectivity and disable all settings if the firmware on the system is not up to date – simply running a check with the QNAP domain when trying to access these services and settings and declining if the latest update is not installed. Xbox and Playstation users are more than aware of this as a fixed rule to ensure that installed software is officially licenced and checked in advance. However, those are closed systems and many buyers have selected QNAP because of the flexibility and customization it offers.

Forced updates are something of a taboo subject too, with the recent rather heavy-handed move by QNAP in light of the Deadbolt ransomware attack to remote push the latest firmware update to all QNAP NAS systems that were internet-connected without any notice to the end-users (overriding any settings that disabled or prevented this). Now, clearly, QNAP did this as an extreme and something to prevent the vulnerability of the system software and/or configuration from being exploited further (that have still not been fully confirmed in its attack vectors, with some users who have ridiculously high-security settings still getting hit). In non-ransomware instances, I think QNAP issuing a message to their user base with a “In 5 day’s there will be an essential system update on XX day XX month at XX:XX time” message, with even a brief explanation of why would have been infinitely more preferable and would have been met with a much more positive stance (as well as it also making many users update sooner). However, clearly, the decision for a forced update was more of a last resort/hastily decided choice and that forms part of another reason that many users find the QNAP platform to sometimes bring services and software to market that could do with a little more time in the oven. Whatever way you look at it, QNAP was going to be damned, whatever they did. But did they put themselves in this position? What about the expectations of the end-user and due diligence? What SHOULD be the expected skillset of a QNAP NAS buyer to start with?

The Extent of the End User Responsibility, Skillsets and Expectations?

How much should a user be expected to know about networking?

The simplicity of NAS systems (not just QNAP) can often be oversold. It’s annoying and I am as guilty as most of this, but given the wide range of users who install a NAS system into their storage environments, the ease of setup and use is not shared with the ease of setup and understanding of network security in your home or office. On the one hand, QNAP have have supplied multiple services and processes in their system software that make remote access easy, encrypted transmissions easy, SSL certificate applying easy, 2-step authentication easy, UPNP and router pushing easy – you name it, they have tried to make it easy. But should they have? The ease of setting up a number of these services (as well as non-randomized settings in some places) can easily give users a false sense of security. So, for those users of a higher skillset, it would be acceptable that a QNAP NAS should only be remotely accessed with the highest layers of security applied, and it should not allow remote level access to be possible without some unique intervention and set-up by the end-user (not just a password and/or disabling an admin account), although to stop presets of this nature would lead to a noticeable spike in the difficulty of setup, perhaps that is what is needed. This is by no means a new issue we are discussing and even a brief google search online finds examples of attack vectors and methods as far back as 1999 on public/org sites.

However, in reality, it simply would not work like this, The user base of QNAP NAS is just too varied and though these tougher and more unique security implementations would secure things, the less technically skilled users would hit hurdle after hurdle, once again, one of the prices of some (not all) of that flexibility. Alot of users who have been hit by ransomware attacks have specifically headed to official forums because they do not have the remote setup experience that might be deemed an acceptable minimum to start opening ports via the QNAP settings or directly on the router. This once again brings us back around to what should be the expected skill level of a QNAP NAS owner, how much of the control and security profile of the storage system belongs to QNAP and how much should the buyer be expected to do independently? You can buy a car, you can fill it with petrol and the manufacturer can tell you its top speed, and miles to the gallon – but no car manufacturer would feel the need to add to all their adverts “must have a driving licence”, do they? It’s a rather stretched simile I know, but the fact remains that users cannot expect to connect their storage to the internet in 2022, open up pathways to it via the internet and not at least make allowances or provisions that an attack could happen. This leads us to the hardest and coldest fact of QNAP’s recent ransomware attacks that, although only applies to a % of users, is still depressingly true.

How Backups and Data Storage are Still being Misunderstood

A frighteningly large number of victims with no backup. Acceptable backup levels?

One of the hardest choices for anyone that has been successfully targetted by ransomware attackers (not exclusive to NAS either) is the choice to pay or not. When I am asked to make recommendations for a home or business user in the free advice section here on NASCompares or the comments on YouTube, I will always ask what the user storage quote is currently (now then double annually over 5yrs), their user base (volume and frequency) and their budget? That last one is always a kicker for some, as no one wants to show their cards! I’m not a salesman and I do not work for a eRetailer, I ask because there is a lot of ground between a £99 DS120j and a £5000 RS3621XS+. However, budget is INCREDIBLY important and should not only be measured by the number of 0’s in the account, but also by the cost of if the data is lost! Many users are so busy thinking of how much it will cost to provision for the future, that they are not factoring in the cost of replacing the past! This is the exact personal vulnerability that ransomware targets and sadly, a lot of users still do not understand 1) what a backup actually IS and 2) what a backup actually ISN’T.

If your data ONLY lives on the NAS, then the NAS is not a backup. You likely knew that. But socially and conventionally, we tend to forget it quite easily. We make space on phones by deleting stuff because ‘it is backed up on the NAS’. We sync our laptops and MacBooks with a remote folder to keep our files safe on the NAS, but still make changes or delete files on the hoof. We take the NAS as red as a backup and at that point, it isn’t! Likewise there are things that SOUND like backups… RAID… Snapshots… Hot Spares… they sound very reassuring, but are not backups, they are safety nets! And are all typically found ‘in system’. A REAL backup is something that is the same files, ELSEWHERE!  There is no avoiding that a QNAP NAS (or a Synology or Asustor NAS for that matter) is NOT a backup solution in of itself, but can be used IN a Backup Strategy. All brands highlight at numerous points o their website that you should have a 1-2-3 Backup strategy, or a bare-metal and cloud backup, or a periodic USB backup, a NAS to NAS remote backup – or ALL of them! Sadly, there are a lot of users in the official QNAP forums that have been hit by ransomware and did not have backups in place, with some knowledge that they needed a backup but their budget’s prohibited it. Whilst others say that QNAP said it’s a backup device, they bought it as a backup device, QNAP missold it and that is the end of argument!

The sad truth is that QNAP is not responsible for your backup routine or strategy, it supplies the means to store and access data and their responsibility (succeed or fail) is to ensure its hardware and/or software provides a default secure level of access, as well as the means to configure that access to the users control. There HAVE been vulnerabilities found and they have patched them, as is the usual process in these things (at least, they say they have at that is the best guarantee we can ever have from a brand in the circumstances), but they are NOT responsible for your backup routine. This now leads us to the subject of the QNAP hardware, the QNAP software and comparisons with Synology.

Hardware vs Software Priorities – Both the Brand and the User Base

Hardware vs Software, QNAP vs Synology, Is the grass greener?

Way back in the mid twenty-teens, whenever I would discuss QNAP and Synology on the platform, I would always say that you go to Synology for the Software and QNAP for the Hardware. Synology’s DSM platform clearly makes up the bulk of the companies investment and attention, makes up a significant chunk of the price tag and is designed around keeping things as user-friendly as possible (within reason). This is why their devices at each generation refresh (DS916+>DS918+>DS920+ or DS216+>DS218+>DS220+) only make smaller increases on the previous generation – the software IS the focus. With QNAP we tend to see the hardware taking bigger leaps each generation. Better standard ethernet, better PCIe gens, Better CPUs much earlier and overall greater hardware at any given time. For PC builders and those that know a lot more about the contents of their laptop than the contents of their router, this is speaking THEIR language and makes the price tag translate better. Fast forward to 2022 and although that logic still remains the same, these brands are more 60/40 in their architecture (where 60 = their preferred hardware or software bias). The issue starts when QNAP seem to rush their software out the door very quickly. Alongside a lot of more beta applications being available, they roll out a lot of new types of software that (and I am sorry to use that expression again, but) could have used more time in the oven. This approach to software development and release can be dicey and although it makes QNAP the more exciting platform (with its better hardware, more diverse software and continued AI or generally automated services), it also means that the platform has less of the layers of troubleshooting red-tape that Synology has (which inversely means the Synology product is going to be more expensive and less hardware rich, as that investment of time needs to be repaid to be justified).

Look at the Apple TV box or Amazon FireTV / Firestick? Is it user-friendly? yes! Is it slick and intuitive? Yes! Is it flexible in the installation of 3rd party applications? NO (at least, not without workarounds)! Is it hardware-powerful? LORD NO! One glance on eBay will show you a thousand other media boxes at the same price with Android on board, 5-10x the hardware and customization coming out of the wazoo. Nevertheless, many users will not buy the apple/amazon media option because although they KNOW it will be slick and ‘hold your hand’ all the way, it will be a closed system, noticeably more expensive and even then “nothing is full proof, right?”. And a lot of the anger at QNAP for their increased ransomware targeting and handling of this needs to also be balanced against why a lot of users chose the QNAP NAS brand. The QNAP NAS platform does have good applications and services, some genuinely unique ones and ones that allow tremendous flexibility and customization – but users need to remain relative to what drew them to the platform and have sufficient backups AND safety nets in place. I would say this about QNAP, about Synology, hell… Google drive, DropBox, Backblaze… ALL of them have localized client tools that rely way too much on the success of versioning/roll-backs being possible on the cloud platform. None of them are 100% full proof and QNAP dropped the ball multiple times here, but none of these ways are unprecedented and should be provisioned for regardless of your NAS brand or cloud platform.

The Sad Truth about Servers, Security and Vulnerabilities

Vulnerability > Update > vulnerability > update > rinse > repeat

No platform, software or service is going to be 100% bulletproof. You can increase your personal layers of security (VPNs, Encryption, layers, restrictive white lists, etc) to hit 99.99% but whatever way you are looking at it, everything we use is software-based and therefore, fallible. Equally, users cannot pretend that it is still the early days of the internet anymore and still be annoyed when a statistical possibility that should have been factored against was not. Do I think QNAP NAS are safe? I’m sorry to say that the answer is never going to be a simple Yes/No. I think they provide what they say they provide and I think that QNAP hardware is still the best in the market right now. But their software needs to be less rushed, the extra time/budget be spent on that software, or utilize a trusted 3rd party. The need to relinquish some of the customization of their platform in efforts to remove some of the configuration out of the hands of less tech-savvy users who end up overly reliant in defaults. Perhaps a much more rigorous setup policy that, on day 1, have an EXPERT door and a NOVICE door, with randomized defaults and extremely regimented update rules on the latter. Equally, the brand (though better than it was) needs to work on its communication with its end-user base, both in the event of critical issues and education on what the user base needs to have to increase security OUTSIDE of their product.

I still recommend the brand, I still think users should use their products, but we need to be realistic and honest with ourselves about what we buy and our expectations. If I buy a QNAP NAS, I expect it to store the data I store in it and allow me access to it on my terms, but ‘my terms’ might be a lot more/less strict than the next person and with that comes due diligence in 2022. I hope that the most recent ransomware attack, deadbolt, is the last ‘big’ one we hear about the year/moving forward, but I do not think it will be. More than just QNAP, one look at the vulnerabilities listed on security advisories of all the brands tell us that there is big money to be made by these intruders and the brands can only stay 1 step ahead. As always, me and Eddie here on NASCompares have been running a page that links to the bigger NAS security Advisory pages that gets regularly updated, so if you want to get notifications on these as they get added (pulled from the official pages themselves), then you can visit the page below and put your email in for updates when they happen. Have a great week and backup, backup, BACKUP.

Click Below to Read

 

Finally, If you are currently unaware of the Deadbolt ransomware attack that took place on QNAP NAS devices, you can find out more in the NASCompares article and video below:

 

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QNAP NAS Attacked By DeadBolt Ransomware

Par : Rob Andrews

New QNAP Attack Emerges in the last 24hrs, the Deadbolt Ransomware

UPDATED 28/01/22 – QNAP has instigated a forced-push firmware update to NAS devices to upgrade their systems to version 5.0.0.1891 (the 23/12/21 update), which will override systems that have their update settings set to ‘Do not automatically update’. This will almost certainly change a number of default settings that in older QTS versions are connected with the means of the deadbolt firmware being instigated on individual NAS systems. Following this, several users have reported that existing iSCSI connections ceased, due to a default setting changing in the update. As per the highlights on the bleepingcomputer update article, this has been resolved by users by seeking out the following setting:

“In “Storage & Snapshots > ISCSI & Fiber Channel” right-click on your Alias (IQN) select “Modify > Network Portal” and select the adapter you utilize for ISCSI.”

Nevertheless, a forced update is quite a big move by the brand in response to this ransomware attack and one that under other circumstances would be something that ideally would have been presented with a “we will be making this forced update on X date, be aware” etc. In the QNAP reddit, a 1st party support team member responded to queries regarding the forced QNAP QTS update with the following;

“We are trying to increase protection against deadbolt. If recommended update is enabled under auto-update, then as soon as we have a security patch, it can be applied right away.

Back in the time of Qlocker, many people got infected after we had patched the vulnerability. In fact, that whole outbreak was after the patch was released. But many people don’t apply a security patch on the same day or even the same week it is released. And that makes it much harder to stop a ransomware campaign. We will work on patches/security enhancements against deadbolt and we hope they get applied right away.

I know there are arguments both ways as to whether or not we should do this. It is a hard decision to make. But it is because of deadbolt and our desire to stop this attack as soon as possible that we did this.”

Additionally, (again, thanks to BeepingComuter for raising this) there are reports that the number of affected devices may have raised significantly since originally projected and several security researchers and internet device monitoring sites raise this number to between 1,160-3,687 as of Jan 28 2022. See tweet below:

🔐 Curated Intel member, @1ZRR4H, observed QNAP ransomware events being reported via IoT search engines, including Shodan and Censys.

🔗 Shodan (1160 events): https://t.co/qpaCTuICAf

🔗 Censys (3687 events): https://t.co/uZKLQprSDE

Tip: use country tags to search by country. pic.twitter.com/2IXpCNpBvV

— Curated Intelligence (@CuratedIntel) January 27, 2022

I will continue to update this article as new information emerges. Please find the original article detailing the Deadbolt ransomware attack on QNA NAS devices below.

Yesterday (25/01) it has been reported on official QNAP forums that several users have been attacked by a new ransomware (actioned with the name Deadbolt) that, if successful in its intrusion, encrypts the content s of your NAS and demands 0.03 bitcoin (about $1000-1100) to provide the decryption key and allow retrieval of your data. QNAP has responded on multiple channels, urging their user base to immediately disable Port Forwarding on their router/modems and the UPnP function of the QNAP NAS within the remote access services. Additionally, they (as you would expect) strongly advise users to update their QTS software to the latest available version to block incoming DeadBolt ransomware attacks. QNAP has since issued this statement, published 26/01/22:

QNAP Systems, Inc. recently discovered that a ransomware called DeadBolt is attempting to attack NAS exposed to the Internet. The ransomware will hijack the NAS login screen and extort bitcoins from the victim. QNAP strongly urges all NAS users to immediately follow the methods below to check whether your NAS is exposed to the Internet, confirm whether the security settings of the router and NAS are complete, and update QTS to the latest version as soon as possible. More information regarding checking the level of access your QNAP NAS has to the internet, as well as how to change key settings to improve security can be found HERE.

Following the news on this as it has happened over 24hrs, the popular network security site Bleeping Computer reported that DeadBolt ransomware group started attacking QNAP users  and encrypting files on compromised NAS devices applying a .deadbolt file extension to affected files

Unlike previous instances involving QNAP NAS being targeted by ransomware, deadbolt are not dropping ransom .txt or docs to the encrypted devices but, this time are replacing the login pages to display warning screens saying “WARNING: Your files have been locked by DeadBolt.” The ransom screen asks the QNAP NAS owner to pay 0.03 bitcoins (roughly $1,100) to a unique Bitcoin address generated for each victim, claiming that the decryption key will be sent to the same blockchain address in the OP_RETURN field once the payment goes through. Sadly, as is always a risk factor with ransomware, currently, there are no confirmations that the threat actors will actually deliver on their promise to send a working decryption key after paying the ransom (as at the time of writing) users who have been affected are not seemingly considering paying (understandably, as this likely facilitates this happening further still in future for others).

Additional to the main ransom note splash screen on affected QNAP NAS systems, there is also is a link “important message for QNAP,” which then leads to a displayed message from the DeadBolt ransomware group that is specifically for QNAP’s attention. This screen states that the DeadBolt ransomware gang is offering the full details of the alleged zero-day vulnerability if QNAP pays them 5 Bitcoins in payment, roughly equivalent to $184,000. They are also willing to sell QNAP the master decryption key that can decrypt the files for all affected victims and the zero-day info for 50 bitcoins, roughly $1.85 million based on the current BC valuation. They state that if this payment is made:; “You will receive a universal decryption master key (and instructions) that can be used to unlock all your clients files. Additionally, we will also send you all details about the zero-day vulnerability to [email protected]

So, fairly brazen stuff!

What Does the DeadBolt Ransomware do to my QNAP NAS?

The DeadBolt ransomware is attempting to encrypt QNAP NAS, units, utilizing what they state is a zero-day vulnerability within QTS (A zero-day vulnerability is a vulnerability in a system or device that has been disclosed but is not yet patched. An exploit that attacks a zero-day vulnerability is called a zero-day exploit). The attack began on January 25th, with numerous QNAP users discovering their data encrypted and file names appended with a .deadbolt file extension, as well as amending the QNAP login web page to show a display screen stating, “WARNING: Your files have been locked by DeadBolt,” (see below:

On this occasion, this user was told they need to pay 0.03 bitcoins (roughly $1,100) to an individual Bitcoin link in order to receive the decryption key. The process of receiving the key is detailed follows:

So, if you have not been affected by this ransomware, but have/need your QNAP NAS to be remotely accessible from outside of your local network, what should you do?

How to Check and Amend Your QNAP NAS Internet Access Right Now

Like many ransomware attacks, the full vulnerability that it exploits will become clearer as time goes on, but a high facilitating factor of the deadbolt attack concerns poor remote access security. Remote access to the NAS can be made several ways (some more complex than others) and QNAP in their recent news post on this ransomware attack highlights further recommended network maintenance measures that you should follow/check. Open the Security Counselor program of the QNAP NAS, if you find the warning text “The System Administration service can be directly accessible from an external IP address via the following protocols: HTTP”, it means that your NAS is being exposed to the external network, and the risk is extremely high.

If you are unsure which port numbers on your router are open, then you can use this guide on How to query the port number that has been exposed to the external network HERE. If your NAS is exposed to the Internet, it is recommended that you follow the steps below for NAS security protection:

1: Turn off the Port Forwarding function of the router

Open your router’s system management interface, check the router’s Virtual Server, NAT or Port Forwarding settings, and set the NAS system management ports (8080 and 443 by default) to off.

2: Check if the UPnP function of the QNAP NAS remains off

Open the myQNAPcloud app of QTS and check the UPnP Router settings. Uncheck “Enable UPnP Port forwarding”

Connecting with your QNAP NAS remotely may well be a key reason why you purchased the system, but if you are less tech or network protocol savvy, then many users will use the QNAP supplied service. However, I still HIGHLY recommend that you bolster your network security settings as much as possible and ensure you have multiple layers of security (automated or direct authentication required) between the internet and your NAS Drive. If you need a NAS external network connection and want to use the myQNAPcloud Link to connect, please refer to the following link – HERE

Alternatively, QNAP made a whole page on remote access security and a breakdown of the factors HERE. Further details on this are covered in the Data News of the Week Video below from the NASCompares YouTube channel:

We will continue to monitor this and update this article if further information arrives that ranges from changes in the attack methodology to potential fixes and decryption tools emerging.

Additionally, it is worth remembering that exploits can be found in practically any internet-connected appliance, it is just a question of the extent to which a vulnerability can be pushed to execute unique commands. The software makers (not just NAS, but practically ALL internet service linked applications and tools) can only be 1-step ahead of hacks (cat and mouse, 1 step each, etc) and that is why all reputable NAS brands have Security Advisory pages that are regularly updated to list any current vulnerabilities that are found, addressed and patched on their platforms. However, staying on top of these can be difficult, so below is a link to a page here on NASCompares that is updated automatically every day and/when a brand updates its security vulnerability advisory pages. You can add your email address to that page in order to receive updates as soon as the brands publish investigated vulnerabilities. Visit this page by clicking the banner below:

 


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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  
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