Other 26,000 MongoDB servers hit in a new wave of ransom attacks

Pierluigi Paganini September 05, 2017

Security researchers Dylan Katz and Victor Gevers confirmed other 26,000 MongoDB servers were hit in a new wave of ransom attacks.

Ransom attacks on MongoDB databases revamped over the weekend after an apparent pause. According to the security researchers Dylan Katz and Victor Gevers, three new groups appeared on the threat landscape and hijacked over 26,000 servers, one of them, in particular, is responsible for hijacking 22,000 machines.

Email address Victims Ransom demand Bitcoin address
[email protected] 22,449 0.2 BTC Bitcoin address
[email protected] 3,516 0.05 BTC Bitcoin address
[email protected] 839 0.15 BTC Bitcoin address

The security duo believes the attacks are the continuation of the wave of Ransom attack in MongoDB called MongoDB Apocalypse that peaked in January 2017.

The attacks were discovered by the Co-founder of the GDI Foundation, Victor Gevers, who warned of poor security for MongoDB installations in the wild. The security expert discovered in January 196 instances of MongoDB that were wiped by Harak1r1 and being held for ransom.

Multiple hacking groups scanned the internet for MongoDB installs left open for external connections and replaced their content with a ransom demand.

The analysis of the Bitcoin wallet used by Harak1r1 revealed that at least 22 victims appeared to have paid.

Many experts in the security community contributed in tracking the attacks, over 45,000 installs were compromised. Hackers targeted also other DBMS, such as MySQLElasticSearchHadoop, Cassandra, and CouchDB.

Back to the present, new groups launched a new wave of attacks against MongoDB databases. Compared with MongoDB Apocalypse, the number of compromised databases in decreased respect the first wave of attacks.

Gevers told Bleeping Computer that even if there are fewer attackers, the impact is larger.

The experts are now investigating the cause of the success of the attacks.


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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – MongoDB databases, Ransom attacks)

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