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Sophos UTM 9.2 beta released!

The beta version of 9.2 is out now! Please don’t install in a live environment, only in a test environment (for example a virtual UTM):

UTM 9.2 Beta ISO for Offical UTM Appliances:
Size: 569MB
Md5: ba7d34a0ac12486b3a1b722f7f438125

UTM 9.2 Beta ISO for Software/Virtual installations:
Size: 566MB
Md5: 07bb81cf4ef3327be11e5682037dd029

We also have an up2date package from version 9.106-17.1 to the beta version 9.165-15 :…165015.tgz.gpg
Size: 207MB
Md5: 4bf1f481ae4c72ad40068d7b1c9ef60a


Beta keys available at the official board here:

Will test the beta and write down the changes. Be patient :)


Beta Overview

UTM 9.2 has over !one hundred! new features and cool things to play with. We have expanded our development teams worldwide and have so many new areas of improvement to offer you in this version that it is hard to give each one the attention it deserves. As with all our Beta releases, full documentation and coverage will be made available in the GA version which is scheduled for release in January 2014. There will be other threads in this forum by our developers and community managers to guide you through the various updates and changes we make as we go along, but for now, let me give you a few Beta points:

  1. Up2Date Packages are available to move you from UTM 9.106 stable to the UTM 9.2 Beta track.
  2. You can restore a UTM 9.1 backup file into the 9.2 Beta release
  3. We will have an Up2Date from the Beta release to the GA version for all installations.
  4. License files for use by Beta testers are posted (and will be updated if needed) in this thread.

And remember, this post will be frequently updated with new entries to the changes below. As a rule, I will tag new things with*NEW* and clear the past “New” flags, so check back often both here and to other STICKY posts so you don’t miss anything!

Major New Things

Advanced Threat Protection
One of the headline features for UTM 9.2 is the addition of an Advanced Threat Protection system (ATP). Using a new integration to Sophos Labs, your UTM will know about globally identified botnets and command & control sites, and can intelligently blackhole their communications with great accuracy. This avoids wasting processing time interpreting their traffic; if sites are known to be “bad” then we can ignore them. In addition, clients behind the UTM that attempt to communicate with these sites are intelligently deemed to be infected with malware or other malicious code, and will trigger alerts and warnings while having their communications to these sites blocked.

Much more will be released on this technology, but for now, note that we have new notifications for this engine, a new status widget for the WebAdmin dashboard, and new logging/reporting entries. This feature is included in the Network Protection subscription of UTM.

Intrusion Protection Performance Improvements
One of our top requests from you was for more performance for IPS. After consuming hundreds of development hours, the system has been heavily optimized across all products and further optimized for each UTM appliance model by tuning the engine to the appropriate hardware configuration. In addition, a new pattern-aging system has been implemented designed to increase the relevance of scanning profiles without wasting resources on older patterns that might not be relevant any longer. This functionality can be adjusted if you want to alter the default settings.

One-Time Password (OTP) / Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
A new system has been implemented to support two-factor authentication for areas like WebAdmin, UserPortal, VPN, and more. Support has been built-in for the Google Authenticator to allow users to on-board themselves into this system (if the admin enables it) via the UserPortal.
Admins can also add users themselves by setting the initial secret code from within a new section of WebAdmin. Once setup, the user will append their password with the rolling OTP code that is generated, so a login might look like “johndoe / mypassword******” where “******” is the 6 digit passcode generated by the system. Mechanisms that use hardware tokens, 3rd party services (such as YubiKey) and other applications that support (OAuth) are intended to work. Try out your favorite and let us know your results!

New GUI design for Web Protection 
The Web Policy approach has been totally overhauled for UTM 9.2 with many new mechanisms.
The base policy and profile policies can be more easily applied, assigned, and edited, and policies can now be applied on a per-user basis. We have enhanced this even further by allowing for per-device authentication assignments, extending the power of the Web Protection suite by orders of magnitude. Additional profiles have been re-designed as well. and the Web Filter Profiles menu section has been revamped with a new look and increased functionality throughout.

Transparent Mode with Active Directory Single Sign On Authentication
We are proud to say that you can now use the Web Protection in transparent mode with Active Directory SSO. This requires no proxy settings on the client and gives you all the same benefits as you would normally enjoy when using AD single-sign on and an explicit proxy, and thus is quite powerful. For this to work, the fully qualified domain name of the UTM must be resolvable by the clients on your network. Users will be automatically re-authenticated every five minutes (the browser should auto renew without user input). Note that non-browsers (without agents) may not handle HTTPS redirects correctly (such as certain windows downloader) and your mileage may vary with those applications of this ingenious technology.

Reverse Authentication (Authentication Offloading) for Web Server Protection 
An entirely new authentication offloading feature has been added to Web Server Protection that supports both basic authentication and form-based authentication, allowing this system to have users authenticate against it and then represent the result to the backend server(s). This functionality is enabled via a new section in WebAdmin–>Web Server Protection–>Reverse Authentication. Once you have created an authentication profile with the parameters you want, you apply it to traffic flows in WebAdmin–>Web Server Protection–>Web Application Firewall–>Site Path Routing. There are many exciting use-cases and applications for this technology, such as replacing the End-of-Life Microsoft TMG solution.

*Note* It is not possible to use our new Two-Factory Authentication (one-time password) with this feature using the backend authentication mode, you must use the form-based one. This is so you know what request it is, as backend authentication will cache the credentials and thus in a few seconds user requests would be invalid.

Live AV Lookups and Sandbox Execution via Sophos Labs (Catchy Name still in the Works!)
When using Web Protection with the Sophos AV scanning engine enabled, a new option has been added to use live cloud checksum lookups from Sophos Labs. Lookups that fail will still be scanned by the AV engine, and as part of the global feedback network unknown files will be sampled for execution and deep analysis by Sophos Labs to benefit the global community while allowing you to tap the knowledge gained by these events worldwide.

Fully Transparent HTTPS Filtering
The UTM can now perform URL filtering on HTTPS sites without activating the existing man-in-middle “full” HTTPS scanning engine. Using SNI, the URL (or IP if URL is absent) is extracted from the HTTPS session and checked against the URL database. Note that deep-scanning inspection (like malware for example) is not possible with this high-pass option; to look inside the HTTPS sessions and take more advanced actions you will need to use the full HTTPS inspection deployment.

SPX One-Way Message Encryption
UTM now supports one-way encryption of messages to recipients that do not have a trusted encryption system in place such as the ones already supported by UTM via PGP or S/MIME. A new section can be found in Mail Protection called “SPX Encryption”. This one-way mail encryption engine is based on Secure PDF eXchange (SPX). Users can encrypt outgoing messages which are then wrapped in an encrypted PDF that can be received and read by the recipient without them needing to have any support for this process on their end.
How this works is that the recipient receives a notification email that alerts them they have been sent an encrypted message. The content is attached in a PDF. Upon opening it, they will need to enter a password to view the contents. If enabled by the administrator, a user is also able to respond to the message via a reply button integrated into the PDF. The reply portal (when enabled) listens on a default of port 10443 and can be changed. The interface(s) the reply portal listens on can also be configured.
Both the PDF and the secure message to the recipient have a default cover page that you can override with your own customization. Many areas are customizable such as images, formats, headers and footers. In addition, the mechanics of the password creation, communication, message response times, un-retrieved message handling, and more can also be customized by the administrator to provide a seamless experience to their end-users.

Data Leakage Protection (DLP)
A new system for Data Leakage Protection has been added to mail which scans through messages and attachments for data you may not want to leave the company. You can filter by category and region/country for parameters like credit card numbers, bank routing codes, postal addresses, phone numbers, and over 200 other factors.

“Minor” New Things

Google Application Control
Enforcement has been added for Google apps, allowing you to limit access to these services to your company domain only. By limiting to your company domain only, users will not be able to access their personal apps any more. You will find this as “Enforce allowed domains for Google apps” in the “Edit Filter Action” dialog box when creating Web policies.

Background Active Directory Synchronization Option
Currently, when a user authenticates against AD, the UTM does a lookup against each group they are a member of. In environments with extensive groups or large organizations, this can cause a lot of load on both the UTM and the AD server, a new option has been added to fetch the mapping every 2 hours (or manually at the admins discretion) to sync their group memberships at a constant rate.

Enhanced Web Log Searching
You can now search through the web log(s) with more precision using new parameters for User, URL, and Action. For example, you can run a search for “Bill” going to “”, or look for a specific block reason that was triggered by the system.

Fully Customizable Wireless Hotspot Pages 
Increased abilities for customization have been added to the user-facing pages which are served as part of the Wireless Hotspot functionality. Using these tools, customers can now implement their corporate identity in a more complete fashion.

RED Tunnel Compression
RED device configurations can now select to enable tunnel compression. This can save bandwidth if this is a the primary concern, however the compression operation will take increased CPU power, and as traffic volume scales up the CPU will then be the limiter, especially on the RED10 devices. For compression, sites with less than 10 megabits is the target use-case.

Web Protection Policy Testing Tool
Within the WebAdmin in a new section of Web Protection called “Policy Test”, the admin can enter parameters and be informed how such a request would be handled by the system. This avoids you having to manually test users on real machines. You can enter a destination or URL, time, and other parameters to match and then see a detailed output as to what the user would experience as a result.

Authentication Method by Device Type
It is now possible to specify different HTTP authentication methods for different devices! Using identification agent scanning, UTM can now detect Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, iOS, Android, Blackberry and Kindle devices, and let you have filtering profiles based on this. For example, you can apply special filtering for all iPads in a school which uses a different method than the normal windows workstations.

Local Site Reclassification Listing
It is now possible to override the reputation and/or category of a particular URL/IP/IP range. If you only override the category, reputation will still be looked up, and if you only override reputation then category will still be checked. This allows admins to specify a site with a different result, such as adding an uncategorized site into a desired classification. You can import from an existing list by pasting many entries into the import dialog, and paths are prefix matched; if is placed, it will classify all subsequent URLs using that string.

More Detailed HTTP Logging
Many new diagnostic factors have been added to the Web Protection log (http.log). Much-asked for information will now be inserted into the log lines; you will find fields such as DNS time, authentication time, categorization time, and more that can provide insight to the performance and latency of the Web Protection engine while assisting tuning and troubleshooting. There are also two new tags added for the device-based authentication mode feature that has been introduced (see above). One is for “device type” and another for “authentication type”. Note that if you do not configure the UTM to do device-based authentication, then this information will not be present in the logs. The various number flags will have their values explained in detail within the online help of WebAdmin for the GA release.

Web Control Integration with Sophos Enterprise Console
Endpoints can now be managed by Sophos Enterprise console while getting their web policy (and reporting) from the UTM. Note that UTM can manage approximately 1000 deployed UTM deployed endpoints, but as Sophos Enterprise endpoints differ significantly from the endpoints deployed directly from the UTM and this feature is integrated in a way that doesn’t sync the SEC endpoints to the UTM, significantly larger deployments of SEC can receive UTM Web protection. Remember that this does not let you manage all your SEC endpoint features; it only provides web filtering for your classic SEC clients using the UTM as an engine. This requires that you enable full web control in SEC and then copy the UTM information into SEC.

Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA) Blocking
Many applications are not inherently malicious, yet are considered by many to be unsuitable for business use. If enabled, applications such as hacking tools, OS admin utilities, and other potentially disruptive tools will be blocked during their download by the AV engine, and logged as reason “PUA”. Note that PUA blocking can be set per filter action and has also been added to the available User-facing block pages which you can customize. In Web Protection–>Filtering Options–>Potentially Unwanted Applications you can globally allow the download of an application for all users.

HTTPS End-User Block Pages
Users will now see a proper Web “block” page when encountering a block event over HTTPS. To serve this block page, the UTM will complete the SSL handshake and send the block page inside the tunnel. In both “light” SSL scanning and deep HTTPS inspection, your client will need to trust the UTM proxy CA first (via the UserPortal or our other adoption mechanisms) to avoid seeing browser certificate errors when these events occur.

Multi-domain Active Directory user support
In UTM 9.2 the user’s domain will now be considered when matching users, so that users from a second, separate domain with the same username as the first (such as “jdoe”) will be treated separately and can have their own policy applied, eliminating the restriction for each user to be unique across domains.

Other New Things

[Endpoint] You can now specify a parent proxy when enabling Endpoint Protection
[Endpoint] Administrator is able to configure alerts (via Email or SNMP) for endpoint virus detections from the WebAdmin UI (Management -> Notifications -> Notifications). There should be a new section called Endpoint with one entry called Endpoint Virus Detected.
[Endpoint] A new configurable notification has been added for when UTM deployed endpoints detect a virus. This is off by default and must be enabled.
[General] Backup notifications have been removed from the notifications section, as they were required to be enabled to actually transmit backups when the admin enabled that functionality. They are now wholly configured via the backup section.
[General] During installation, SWAP file size will now be set to match the system memory (this is a change from a default of 1GB for all installations).
[General] The initial setup wizard has been overhauled with new functionality and updated components to offer a better experience.
[Intrusion Protection] Support has been added to disable file-based pattern rules.
[Intrusion Protection] For the command-line tinkerers, a new command ‘Ipsctl’ has been added for control of the IPS engine.
[Licensing] The license import function will now show you the parameters of the license you have selected so it can be reviewed before uploading.
[Network] The Dynamic DNS engine has been updated to allow for even more providers like OpenDNS, No-IP, and others.
[Network] It is now possible to place the UTM in bridging mode using two separate LAG interfaces.
[RED] Devices which have been provisioned using the offline-mode can now be re-provisioned to a different offline network without having to first go back to online-mode.
[RED] Handling changes have significantly reduced the fail-over time on a RED50 when two uplinks are used and WAN port fails or suffers downtime.
[RED] RED50 now supports VLAN tagging on a per-port basis. You can choose from Untagged, Untagged/drop tagged, Tagged, disabled.
[RED] The RED50 LCD screen now displays much more information, such as uptime, 3G signal strength, and firmware version. The navigation buttons can be used to page through the screens. Future versions will look to make configuration adjustment possible.
[Reporting] Web Security reports have been enhanced with support for IPv6 addresses.
[Reporting] Several new reports have been added and some new views have been added to Web Reports

  • Users with Categories
  • Users with URL’s
  • Domains with Categories

[Reporting] New default saved reports have been added to Web Reports

  • Virus Downloaders
  • Policy Violators
  • PUA Downloaders

[Reporting] The executive report will now be sent weekly by default (up from daily).
[Reporting] The search engine terms reporting now detects more regional variations of search engines. While we have always detected as “Google” and as “Google Germany”, new variations on the tld were not detected as search engines. Now, if users visit google.newtld for their searching, it will be generically detected as generic “Google”. This behavior is identical for Yahoo as well.
[Reporting] Wildcards (* and ?) are now supported in the search terms report. Previously it was exact match – now you can search for *bomb*.
[Reporting] It is no longer necessary to press the “back” navigation button twice in Web Reporting after selecting a filter and a report to step back one level.
[Reporting] Many filters that a user wanted to apply when navigating through the Web reporting engine have been fixed to work more consistently and effectively as the user expects:

  • User report, filter by action no longer has the same results regardless of action.
  • Domains report, if you click on a domain, click on Users and the domain filter won’t apply to the Users report.
  • URLS report, click on URL, click on Users and the URL filter won’t apply to the Users report
  • URLS report, click on Action, click on Users and the Action filter won’t apply to the Users report
  • Overrides report, click on Users, click on Domains and the Users filter won’t apply to the Domain report
  • Overrides report, click on Users, click on Sites and the Action filter won’t apply to the Sites report

[VPN] Users should no longer be disconnected when transferring large files over SSL VPN Remote Access connections.
[VPN] Support has been added for backend groups to be used for IPSec X.509 and Cisco VPN remote access authentication.
[Warcraft] Nefarian’s Shadowblaze cast frequency cannot increase beyond 1, once every 15 seconds.
[Web] Browser authentication and policy override pages have been converted to HTTPS to avoid transmitting unencrypted credentials over the wire.
[Web] URL White/Blacklisting has been overhauled to be much more intuitive and powerful, allowing for wildcards more easily and subdomain matching with ease.
[Web] The FTP proxy will now perform scanning on PUT requests (as well as the existing GET request scanning ability). If the uploaded file contains malware an error will be sent to the FTP client.
[Web] Authentication mode “Browser” is now supported when using Standard Mode. This allows you to direct users to a portal login using standard mode if desired.
[Web] Browser authentication is now supported when someone visits an HTTPS site. Previously, there were problems displaying the login page if the very first page a user visited was HTTPS.
[Web Server] The maximum file size for uploaded files via the WAF has been increased from 128MB to 1GB.
[Web Server] The WAF engine has been updated with a new version that offers many improvements.
[Web Server] The WAF protection rule set has a fully updated set of new patterns, more patterns to choose from, and will be updated continually via Up2Date.
[WebAdmin] WebAdmin timeout has been increased to a default of 30 minutes (up from 5).
[WebAdmin] WebAdmin now supports wildcard certificates and certificate chains, allowing you to replace the WebAdmin certificate with a paid alternative more easily.
[WebAdmin] Many places in the UTM where you can pick allowed networks (e.g. Web Proxy) have had a warning and additional confirmation added if “any” is selected.
[WebAdmin] With the introduction of the new Advanced Threat Protection system, AppAccuracy settings has moved from Web Protection >> Application Control >> Advanced to Management >> WebAdmin Settings >> Advanced.
[Wireless] New additions to the overview page show more detailed mesh-information of the AP is part of this configuration.
[Wireless] A button has been added to create new vouchers in the hotspot form – It is also possible to add new voucher definitions inside the hotspot form.
[Wireless] Backend authentication is now a supported mechanism for the hotspot, allowing you to remove voucher logins to the hotspot itself and instead allow users to authenticate in a dialog box against a backend system configured on the UTM.

Coming Soon

  • Custom Certificate for End-User Pages
  • Admins can now choose to “warn” a user on desired categories in addition to block/allow.
  • Allow for fallback to an IP-based Web policy if the desired authentication fails.

3 Responses

  1. I´m building my own UTM with your Barebone instructions on INTEL D2500CC Board.
    Have you tried the UTM 9.2 already on that hardware?

  2. Hi Michel I just did the 9.2 beta setup on the INTEL D2500CC hardware and it perfectly works. Also I was able to run a 1x4GB RAM bar from Kingston with 1066 MHZ. THanks again for that great article on your blog!

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