SonicWALL SSL-VPN Appliance Format String Vulnerability

Type securityvulns
Reporter Securityvulns
Modified 2009-06-01T00:00:00

Description - Vulnerability Advisory

Release Date: 29-May-2009

Software: SonicWALL - SSL-VPN Remote Access

Description: "SonicWALL SSL VPN appliances provide small and mid-size organizations an easy-to-use, secure and affordable remote access solution that requires no pre-installed client software. Utilizing a standard Web browser, authorized users such as employees, contractors, partners and customers, can easily and securely access e-mail, files, intranets, Web and legacy applications and remote desktops from any location."

Versions affected: SonicWALL SSL-VPN 2000/4000 and below. SonicWALL SSL-VPN 200 and below.

Vulnerability discovered:

Format string vulnerability.

Vulnerability impact:

High - Remote code execution, and the ability to remotely map out the internal memory structures.

Vulnerability information:

This vulnerability allows remote attackers to execute format string specifiers on the remote appliance as an unauthenticated user.

The device uses a HTML form, where failed authentication results in an error: "Login failed - Incorrect name/password"


By inserting format strings instead of expected input, the statement is interpreted by printf() and the result is returned in a HTTP GET response.


The following GET request will result in "ABCD0044434241" being returned.


0x44434241 is the little endian hexadecimal representation for ABCD.

It is possible to read memory remotely by specifying further format strings, such as:




This may reveal sensitive information.

Attempts to write to memory result in an error, indicating that an access violation may have occurred, therefore remote code execution is likely possible with further research (i.e. physical access :).


"Sorry, the SSL-VPN you are trying to reach is unavailable at this time. Please try again later."

References: advisory

Credit: Patrick Webster ( )

Disclosure timeline: 12-Jan-2009 - Discovered during audit. 09-Feb-2009 - 1st email sent to No response. 27-Feb-2009 - 2nd email sent to No response. 01-May-2009 - Asked contacts within the security industry for SonicWALL contact. 07-May-2009 - Received email from SonicWALL contact. 08-May-2009 - Sent details to SonicWALL contact. 15-May-2009 - SSL 200 - fix released. 27-May-2009 - SSL 2000/4000 - fix released. 29-May-2009 - Public disclosure.