Petabytes of data are left exposed online
Security researchers from CyberNews discovered more than 29,000 unsecured databases worldwide exposing more than 19 petabytes (19,000 TB) of data online.
To perform the latest investigation, the news outlet used a specialized search engine capable of scanning for open Hadoop, MongoDB and Elasticsearch databases. It is worth attention CyberNews does not count any databases that have default credentials enabled, so the number of unprotected databases online is actually higher.
In databases discovered in CyberNews‘search, Hadoop instances exposed the most data with almost 19PB easily accessible to cybercriminals or anyone for that matter followed by Elasticsearch with 143.8TB and MongoDB with only 6.5TB. However, when it comes to the number of exposed databases, Elasticsearch took the top spot with 19,814 instances without any kind of authentication in place.
In terms of which countries have the most exposed databases, China tops the list with 12,943 cases overall while the US is in second with 4,512 cases followed by Germany with only 1,479 cases. unprotected opportunities.
Last year an unknown group of cybercriminals launched a series of attacks on unsecured databases without any explanation or even a ransom demand. The so-called ‘meow attack’ erased all the data stored on these servers and left the database owners with an empty folder full of files named ‘meow’.
Surprisingly in its current investigation, CyberNews found 59 databases that were still not protected even though they were hit by the meow attack last year. Security researcher at the news outlet Mantas Sasnauskas provided further insight into the importance of properly securing online databases in a new report, saying:
“Anyone can search for these unprotected clusters by using IoT search engines to easily identify those without authentication and exploit them by stealing data, handling them with ransom, or, as in the case of the ‘Meow’ attack, simply destroyed important information for pleasure, wiped out billions of records and crippled both businesses and personal projects in the process. ”
Database owners can prevent their data from being stolen by enabling authentication, enabling encryption or using a VPN and by keeping their database software up to date. When authentication is enabled, they must also protect their database with a complex and unique password that can be done by using a password generator or a password manager.