Breach, Threat Management, Data Security, Network Security

Report: Hacking group wipes content from over 12,000 open MongoDB databases

In less than a month's time, the "Unistellar" hacking group has reportedly accessed over 12,000 unsecured MongoDB databases and stolen their contents, apparently holding them for ransom.

Security researcher Sanyam Jain initially discovered the wiped databases late last month using the BinaryEdge scanning service, according to a BleepingComputer report last Friday. The 12,564 sabotaged databases make up roughly 20 percent of the 63,000+ publicly configured MongoDB identified via BinaryEdge, the report continues.

The attackers' m.o. is to replace the original contents of accessed databases with a message instructing owners to contact a Unistellar email address if they wish to restore their data. Presumably, the attackers then demand a cryptocurrency-based payment from the victims.

Earlier this month, researcher Bob Diachenko reported one of these attacks after an open MongoDB database containing more than 275 million sensitive records on Indian citizens was targeted by the Unistellar hackers.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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