Cyber Security

Over 39,000 Unauthenticated Redis Cases Discovered Uncovered on the Web

An unknown attacker focused tens of hundreds of unauthenticated Redis servers uncovered on the web in an try to set up a cryptocurrency miner.

It is not instantly recognized if all of those hosts have been efficiently compromised. Nonetheless, it was made doable by the use of a “lesser-known approach” designed to trick the servers into writing knowledge to arbitrary recordsdata – a case of unauthorized entry that was first documented in September 2018.

“The final thought behind this exploitation approach is to configure Redis to jot down its file-based database to a listing containing some technique to authorize a consumer (like including a key to ‘.ssh/authorized_keys’), or begin a course of (like including a script to ‘/and many others/cron.d’),” Censys mentioned in a brand new write-up.


The assault floor administration platform mentioned it uncovered proof (i.e., Redis instructions) indicating efforts on a part of the attacker to retailer malicious crontab entries into the file “/var/spool/cron/root,” ensuing within the execution of a shell script hosted on a distant server.

The shell script, which remains to be accessible, is engineered to carry out the next actions –

  • Terminate security-related and system monitoring processes
  • Purge log recordsdata and command histories
  • Add a brand new SSH key (“backup1”) to the foundation consumer’s authorized_keys file to allow distant entry
  • Disable iptables firewall
  • Set up scanning instruments like masscan, and
  • Set up and run the cryptocurrency mining software XMRig

The SSH key’s mentioned to have been set on 15,526 out of 31,239 unauthenticated Redis servers, suggesting that the assault was tried on “over 49% of recognized unauthenticated Redis servers on the web.”

Nevertheless, a major cause why this assault may fail is as a result of the Redis service must be operating with elevated permissions (i.e., root) in order to allow the adversary to jot down to the aforementioned cron listing.

“Though, this may be the case when operating Redis inside a container (like docker), the place the method would possibly see itself operating as root and permit the attacker to jot down these recordsdata,” Censys researchers mentioned. “However on this case, solely the container is affected, not the bodily host.”


Censys’s report additionally revealed that there are about 350,675 internet-accessible Redis database providers spanning 260,534 distinctive hosts.

“Whereas most of those providers require authentication, 11% (39,405) don’t,” the corporate mentioned, including “out of the whole 39,405 unauthenticated Redis servers we noticed, the potential knowledge publicity is over 300 gigabytes.”

The highest 10 nations with uncovered and unauthenticated Redis providers embody China (20,011), the U.S. (5,108), Germany (1,724), Singapore (1,236), India (876), France (807), Japan (711), Hong Kong (512), the Netherlands (433), and Eire (390).

China additionally leads on the subject of the quantity of information uncovered per nation, accounting for 146 gigabytes of information, with the U.S. coming a distant second with roughly 40 gigabytes.

Censys mentioned it additionally discovered quite a few cases of Redis providers which were misconfigured, noting that “Israel is without doubt one of the solely areas the place the variety of misconfigured Redis servers outnumber the correctly configured ones.”

To mitigate threats, customers are suggested to allow consumer authentication, configure Redis to run solely on internal-facing community interfaces, stop the abuse of CONFIG command by renaming it to one thing unguessable, and configure firewalls to simply accept Redis connections solely from trusted hosts.

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