RDP brute-force attacks rocketed since beginning of COVID-19

The number of RDP brute-force attacks is skyrocketing in mid-March due to remote working imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Researchers from Kaspersky Lab are observing a significant increase in the number of RDP brute-force attacks since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this month, researchers from Shodan reported a 41% increase in the number of RDP endpoints exposed online, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

RDP brute-force attacks skyrocketed in March due to remote working imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic that forced organizations to deploy more systems online accessible through RDP connections.

“One of the most popular application-level protocols for accessing Windows workstations or servers is Microsoft’s proprietary protocol — RDP. The lockdown has seen the appearance of a great many computers and servers able to be connected remotely, and right now we are witnessing an increase in cybercriminal activity with a view to exploiting the situation to attack corporate resources that have now been made available (sometimes in a hurry) to remote workers.” reads the post published by Kaspersky.

“Since the beginning of March, the number of Bruteforce.Generic.RDP attacks has rocketed across almost the entire planet”

Attackers attempt to brute-force the username and password used to protect RDP access to systems exposed online, they can use combinations of random characters or leverage dictionary of most popular passwords.

Kaspersky recommends organizations to adopt the following security measures:

Experts also warn of vulnerabilities in other remote working tools, such as VNC, that could expose organizations to hack. In November, Kaspersky experts reported dozens of flaws in Linux and Windows VNC clients in

At the time, querying shodan.io Kaspersky find over 600,000 VNC servers available online.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – RDP, hacking)

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Pierluigi Paganini: Pierluigi Paganini is member of the ENISA (European Union Agency for Network and Information Security) Threat Landscape Stakeholder Group and Cyber G7 Group, he is also a Security Evangelist, Security Analyst and Freelance Writer. Editor-in-Chief at "Cyber Defense Magazine", Pierluigi is a cyber security expert with over 20 years experience in the field, he is Certified Ethical Hacker at EC Council in London. The passion for writing and a strong belief that security is founded on sharing and awareness led Pierluigi to find the security blog "Security Affairs" recently named a Top National Security Resource for US. Pierluigi is a member of the "The Hacker News" team and he is a writer for some major publications in the field such as Cyber War Zone, ICTTF, Infosec Island, Infosec Institute, The Hacker News Magazine and for many other Security magazines. Author of the Books "The Deep Dark Web" and “Digital Virtual Currency and Bitcoin”.

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