Potential Legacy Risk from Malware Targeting QNAP NAS Devices

This is a joint alert from the United States Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

CISA and NCSC are investigating a strain of malware known as QSnatch, which attackers used in late 2019 to target Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices manufactured by the firm QNAP.

All QNAP NAS devices are potentially vulnerable to QSnatch malware if not updated with the latest security fixes. The malware, documented in open-source reports, has infected thousands of devices worldwide with a particularly high number of infections in North America and Europe. Further, once a device has been infected, attackers can prevent administrators from successfully running firmware updates.

This alert summarizes the findings of CISA and NCSC analysis and provides mitigation advice.

Click here for a PDF version of this report from NCSC.

Technical Details

Campaigns

CISA and NCSC have identified two campaigns of activity for QSnatch malware. The first campaign likely began in early 2014 and continued until mid-2017, while the second started in late 2018 and was still active in late 2019. The two campaigns are distinguished by the initial payload used as well as some differences in capabilities. This alert focuses on the second campaign as it is the most recent threat.

It is important to note that infrastructure used by the malicious cyber actors in both campaigns is not currently active, but the threat remains to unpatched devices.

Although the identities and objectives of the malicious cyber actors using QSnatch are currently unknown, the malware is relatively sophisticated, and the cyber actors demonstrate an awareness of operational security.

Global distribution of infections

Analysis shows a significant number of infected devices. In mid-June 2020, there were approximately 62,000 infected devices worldwide; of these, approximately 7,600 were in the United States and 3,900 were in the United Kingdom.

Read more at CISA

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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