Sophos RED50: Bug that bricks UTMs found and fixed

[German]Good news for administrators using Sophos RED50 devices. The bug in the Sophos UTM version 9.603 software which caused the firmware of the device to crash, leaving it bricked, has been found and fixed via firmware update.


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Some background: The Sophos RED50 bug of death?

The abbreviation RED stands for Remote Ethernet Devices. Sophos RED50 devices allow secure Ethernet connections to be established between different locations or branch offices of a company.

Sophos RED
(Sophos RED, Source: Sophos)

The devices are available for around 700 euros. The problem: A software bug in the firmware bricks Sophos RED50 devices. At German site administrator.de there is this thead where a user complains about bricked RED50 devices. I’ve covered that story in mid-June 2019 in the German blog post Sophos RED50: UTM bewirkt Absturz und Gerät ist tot. And I received some user feedback confirming that issue.

Sophos UTM 9.702-1 fixes this bug

German blog reader Thorsten Sult dropped this comment within my German blog (thanks for that). Thorsten informed me, that Sophos just released the firmware update UTM 9.702-1 on their FTP servers, that fixes the bug mentioned above. There is this forum post within the Sophos community from Jan Weber:

we have finally found and addressed the route cause of the RED50 failures that we have been seeing. The just-released UTM 9.702 https://community.sophos.com/products/unified-threat-management/b/blog/posts/utm-up2date-9-702-released contains a fixed firmware for RED50 that will resolve these issues. Updating to this firmware will prevent RED50 units of running into this issue in the future and can be applied online for any RED50.

The Sophos support article KB135240 (RESOLVED: RED 50 Remote Ethernet Devices fail to boot or become inoperable) has details. The increasing number of RED 50 Remote Ethernet devices suddenly failing to boot has prompted Sophos to take a closer look.


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Affected are All RED 50 devices connected to an SG UTM running v9.6 or higher or XG (SFOS) running current RED firmware are affected. These versions of the RED 50 firmware incorrectly handle error correction between the hardware and system drivers which can cause RED 50 devices to fail in random ways which may include complete device failure requiring a hardware replacement.

The occurrence of this failure is unrelated to the RED 50 hardware age and can impact both new and old devices equally. The updated firmware fix completely resolves the issue on RED 50 devices.

This website contains details about the UTM Up2Date 9.702 firmware update. Sophos plans to roll out the firmware update in waves. And the update is already available on the FTP server. For more information, check the linked sources.


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