UGREEN NAS Certificate and Encryption Key Sharing on Systems

Security Flaw in Ugreen NAS Certificates Under Investigation

A security concern has been raised regarding Ugreen’s new NAS devices, sparked by a Twitter user in the East who claims that all Ugreen Private Cloud NAS users share a single certificate and private key. The tweet, shared by @realShellWen, has not yet been corroborated by other users or acknowledged by Ugreen. This issue is still under investigation, with Ugreen representatives contacted for comment but no response received yet. The tweet references a specific certificate on crt.sh, a site used to track and verify the status of SSL/TLS certificates.

According to the crt.sh page for the certificate ID 13146419955, the certificate was issued on May 5, 2024, and has been revoked due to key compromise. Crt.sh is widely used by security professionals to monitor certificate transparency logs, allowing the public to check the issuance and revocation status of certificates. If the claim holds true, the use of a shared certificate could expose Ugreen NAS users to various security threats.

Generally, NAS brands handle certificates by issuing individual certificates for each device, ensuring that the compromise of one certificate does not affect other devices. They often use automated certificate management processes, such as the ACME protocol, for automatic issuance and renewal of certificates. This method minimizes the risk of human error and enhances security by providing unique certificates for each device, thereby maintaining the integrity of encrypted communications.

A shared certificate and private key scenario could enable man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks, where an attacker intercepts and potentially alters communication between the user and the NAS. This could lead to sensitive data being compromised. Additionally, attackers could impersonate the NAS, gaining unauthorized access to data stored on the device. However, executing such an attack would require the attacker to be in a position to intercept the network traffic, which adds a layer of complexity to the exploit. Despite these potential risks, there has been no evidence of exploitation reported by other users or detected in user forums and discussions. If verified, the practical implications of this vulnerability could be severe. Shared certificates undermine the security architecture of SSL/TLS, as they essentially create a single point of failure. An attacker with the private key could decrypt traffic, impersonate the server, or conduct other malicious activities. However, it is important to note that this claim has so far only been raised by a single user. No similar complaints have surfaced in Ugreen NAS Reddit communities or on Kickstarter pages, where users frequently discuss and troubleshoot such devices.

To address this issue, if proven true, Ugreen would need to revoke the compromised certificate and issue new, individual certificates for each NAS device. This would prevent a single point of failure and ensure that the compromise of one certificate does not affect all users. Additionally, Ugreen would need to enhance their security protocols to prevent similar incidents in the future. This could include implementing automated certificate management processes, such as using the ACME protocol for automatic issuance and renewal of certificates, to minimize human error and improve overall security. Security experts recommend that companies use individual certificates for each device to prevent such vulnerabilities. This approach limits the impact of a single certificate compromise and helps maintain the integrity of encrypted communications. Users are advised to follow best practices, such as regularly updating firmware as it is issued (as this may well direct towards the installation of a new certificate if this is all true), using strong passwords, and monitoring network activity for any unusual behaviour and for any overt suspicious activity. Additionally, they should consider using a VPN for secure remote access and disable any unnecessary network services that might expose the device to potential attacks. The complexity and practicality of exploiting such a vulnerability depend on various factors, including the attacker’s ability to intercept traffic and the robustness of the network’s security measures. While the potential risks are significant, the actual threat level may vary based on individual user setups and configurations.

In conclusion, while the claim made on Twitter has yet to be confirmed by additional sources or official channels, it highlights a potentially significant security flaw in Ugreen NAS devices. The company’s response and the results of ongoing investigations will be crucial in determining the extent of the issue and the necessary steps to mitigate the risk. Users are advised to stay informed and await further updates from Ugreen regarding the situation. As the investigation continues, the community will be watching closely to see how Ugreen addresses these concerns and works to restore trust in their products.

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      57 thoughts on “UGREEN NAS Certificate and Encryption Key Sharing on Systems

      1. Bought the 8 bay in KS, booted their OS once just to check around, then immediately installed TrueNAS Scale because they don’t have the features I need yet, iSCSI and a few others. Very happy with the system though, 8 16TB HDDs with NVME cache.
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      2. I bought the 6 Bay / DXP6800, haven’t even opened it yet. Will wait a couple more months before I do to save myself from the first round of bugs / limited OS challenges. I am brand new to NAS and don’t have the comfort level to run / install TrueNAS, UNRAID, etc.. Thanks for the update video!
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      3. Still not available to buy, and some complaints from people who haven’t yet received their Nas – I can’t see whether that is 1% or 10%, and I think they made it too complicated with that whole discount the $5 reservation fee thingy, and having to fill out forms with address, etc. I’m looking forward to seeing where they expand availability – hint: pick me, pick me, pick the UK. I need iSCSI but I don’t suppose that is in yet. It’s early so we have no idea if the h/w is reliable, but all their other h/w seems very reliable.
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      4. So far almost unusable. New errors are added every day. There are a lot of complaints in the Facebook group and on the Discord. Often the whole raid breaks down and cannot be restored. The support ignores requests. I am currently very unhappy with this.
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      5. Great summary of the OS so far, I decided to keep using the UGOS instead of using an 3rd party. However, you’ve missed that the connection to active directory doesn’t work and that fine for home users but for homelabs and businesses it’s major oversight.
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      6. I would never use it since I don`t have a use case for a prebuild NAS like this, but if i had one I would be very please with this. Looking at it being their first try on NAS Systems from a company that was not in that business before is quite good and sure, a lot of things aren’t there yet, but as long as the support and development continues, that’s mostly fine with me. I will follow their development and maybe in the future I`ll even recommend them to my friends
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      7. It looks like it works well if used as a basic file sharing storage locally

        But those promised/soon/will be there/in progress functions seem still not there “yet” ????

        There is even no timetable for those things

        If just need a basic storage device there are many options in the market
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      8. I picked up the 4 bay “pro” model. I have only used it to host some SMB shares and for those its run flawlessly. I am very happy with it, but my usage is pretty limited.
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      9. Haven’t seen it done yet, but will this run Xpenology? The hardware seems to be a great value, but hearing about shared keys and lack of proper security features worries me. This could be the perfect host for gray-market Synology DSM! And I do realize that’s very much a gray area since DSM isn’t properly open-sourced – though it possibly should be.
        But licensing aside, will it run?
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      10. One of the huge drawbacks is that they override permissions on the homedir every reboot. This makes SSH unusable with keys, only password! I asked the support and got a response that nothing they can do about permission change on the .ssh directory, that’s by design.
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      11. I hate seagulls! But I will admit the YouTube algorithm loves them.
        I am waiting to purchase enough drives to fill my 6 bay up, but hopefully soon I can replace two of my Synology NAS with this running TrueNAS. I appreciate your updates on the Ugreen software.
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      12. I don’t trust them. They added and removed links to NAS from their homepage with no indication of a wider release to the public. I’ll wait for the next Asustor and Qnap offerings
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      13. iSCSI LUN support wouldn’t go amiss either. Support for accessing external (USB and Thunderbolt) storage with MacOS Finder and Windows Explorer (not just through UGOS) is a sorely missed feature.
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      14. Happy owner of a UGREEN NAS, great hardware????!
        The software is nice but lacks essential features like encryption and snapshots.

        I recommend installing TrueNAS Scale, you don’t need to open the device, and I’ve backed up the original OS on a USB stick.
        Zero risk, TrueNAS is 100x better for advances users ????
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      15. Use a router that allows you to isolate all IoT devices on a separate physical network, with its own separate DNS and firewall ruleset–completely apart from the NAS and user workstations.
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      16. Thanks for the post. Although in IT for over 30 years (retired), I only purchased my first nas 6 months ago- – thus still learning.

        I have a Photo/Video business, thus generate a lot of very large projects. I have 2 Synology Nas and replicate snapshots from my production Nas to a backup Nas nightly. On each I have USB a drive and run USB Copy to backup only when I re-attach the drive which is set to eject upon completion. I also periodically skim-off older projects to shelved disk drives. In addition, my backup Nas copies to the cloud. I think I’ve followed all the security recommendations except for port number changes and 2-factor logins – working on these. Does this seem like a good strategy?

        My second question is regarding the location of my backup Nas. Besides the obvious advantage of having the backup nas physically offsite, is the nas safer remaining behind my firewall?
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      17. These attackers aren’t just script kiddies anymore. They can code in their own right. Once a patch is released they will be able to reverse engineer it. In some respects if you don’t patch once the patch is out, you are more vulnerable then you were when the patch was unknown. For Microsoft patch Tuesday, it is known as weaponise Wednesday
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      18. While snapshots and local offline backups on USB drives increase your chances to restore your data after a ransomware attack, they are no 100% guarantee. If the attacker gets enough permissions on your NAS he can delete the snapshots and setup a demon that waits until you connect your offline backup USB drive and immediately wipe it. Never heard of ransomware doing this so far but it is probably only a question of time until we will see this.
        The only truly secure backup strategy is to initiate the (versioned) backup from another NAS (or PC) that has as little network connectivity as necessary to do its backups. Like only a VLAN connection to the main NAS that is backuped. That way there is no chance the versioned backups can be deleted or encrypted by any hacked device connected to your main LAN. Agree?
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      19. have been watching hours of your videos on NAS this past week and just want to say thank you for the advice and tips.

        I am in the process of replacing a QNAP TS-251 2 bay/4GB that died during the pandemic and have learned so much on what to think about. Its setup in my TV room and is mainly a media storage/player for that room. I did use QNAPcloud previously but am going to shy away from it being on the net for the initial stages of use. Its a 1080p room and for the most part use.264 files. Is there a NAS you would recommend for my purposes if I am wanting to stick with QNAP or Synology? THe local computer store is saying that I should stick with QNAP and the data on my previous 10TB can be saved as it will not be formatted for new QNAP enclosure. I am not sure that is should just plug those drives into the new enclosure in case there are vulnerabilities or applications that will cause me grief. Any thoughts would be appreciatted.

        Again great stuff and sorry for the long post
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      20. Conclusion: There’s no bullet-proof way to setup a set-and-forget NAS connected to the Internet? ????The safest 3-2-1 backup configuration would probably be an intranet with the “offsite” NAS being located in the building next door, am I right?

        – Eero
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      21. If you were using a QNAP and did not want to set up a VPN, Qlink allows remote access with no port forwarding. And without port forwarding, the NAS is a lot more secure. Qlink is very easy to use.
        https://www.qnap.com/en-us/software/myqnapcloud
        All other myqnapcloud features besides Qlink can be turned off for higher security.

        Once Qlink is set up, you can send share links to files or folders using the SmartShare feature.
        As for file transfers, Qlink will let you do that from the GUI. But QNAP also supports Resilio Sync to sync folders with PC or Mac with QNAP. And that works without port forwarding.

        I would still consider VPN to be the best option for remote access. But qlink and Reslilo are so easy to use that I think it should only rarely be necessary to forward the https, FTP, ssh, or rsync ports.
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      22. Minor edit, the links in the description is wrong
        Previous NAS Safety Videos:
        Is Synology NAS Safe? – points to QNAP! – https://youtu.be/o29KFsECQzc
        Is QNAP NAS Safe? – points to Synology! – https://youtu.be/oHrry2i9b1o
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      23. Yes, the sound quality on this one is quite rough, isn’t it! This video was one of THREE that were recorded between me and Eddie, only to discover that OBS has double sync’d my mic and camera – the result is one of the BASS’iest sound levels I have ever recorded. We are in the process of re-recording the other two videos, but this one was moderately salvageable. Much like in a previous video, trying to sync mine and Eddie’s sound proved 10x harder than it should have been and in the end the balance of the audio was leveraged more towards Eddie (as I am always the louder/noisier/more-annoying one!). Sorry if this makes it tough to listen to at points. Have a great weekend everyone! Might have to revisit this one, just seemed a shame to throw it away, as 2nd record will be too scripted/repeated. Hope you all understand. Have a great week ladies and gents!
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