Chances are you have recently heard about Slingshot. A ZDNet article explains “Researchers at Kaspersky Lab have discovered espionage malware that appears to have been developed by a government to spy on targets across Africa and the Middle East for the past six years. The researchers haven’t named Slingshot’s country of origin, but note the presence of debug messages written in perfect English, while various component names such as Gollum and Smeagol suggest the authors are fans of The Hobbit. Slingshot reached targets using a compromised software update for routers made by Latvian firm MikroTik.”
So, do you need to be concerned? This email from Normunds at MikroTik explains the slingshot malware attack and why you should or should not worry about it.
All RouterOS versions are safe if you use Winbox 3. Only the old Winbox v2 downloads DLL files from the router. Winbox v3 has been available since the year 2014.
Kaspersky said they have found a malicious DLL file that was loaded to the end users Windows computer with Winbox from a MikroTik router. They said this is a targeted attack on specific organizations and this tool is not spreading itself.
1. Winbox no longer downloads any DLL files from the device, if you are using Winbox v3. Make sure to upgrade RouterOS and Winbox loader. It has been out for ~4 years.
2. As to how this DLL file got it’s way inside a MikroTik router in the first place, is unclear. Most likely this is related to a previously discovered vulnerability in the www service, which was patched in March 2017. Please note that devices affected were only those which did not have a firewall configured.
After the mentioned fixes, we have repeatedly increased RouterOS file system security and made additional internal mechanisms to prevent anything like this in the future. Please keep your devices up to date and configure a firewall (if you disabled the default one) to prevent any unauthorized IPs from accessing your router.
So, the bottom line is to use WInbox version 3, do a one time upgrade to the current version of RouterOS and worry about something else like, “What’s for lunch?”.