Big and Small Organizations That Had Misconfigured Cloud Services


As reported by cloud threat defense firm RedLock, the number of misconfigured cloud services is growing. Some of the incidents that had been reported include the widespread misconfigured MongoDB installations. When hackers discovered the misconfigured databases in January 2017, they plundered the databases, deleted the data and demanded ransom. The total number of hijacked MongoDB databases is over 26,000.

The problem of misconfigured cloud services resulting in data breaches is not limited to small organizations.  Over 143 million records of Americans were exposed during the Equifax data breach. The breach was due to a failure to fix a known vulnerability in Apache Struts, a framework supporting its dispute portal web application. According to Equifax CEO Richard Smith, the missed patch was attributed to just a single employee’s mistake.  One cloud environment of British insurance giant Aviva was hacked and it was used to mine Bitcoin. Hackers also used the Kubernetes administration consoles to gain access to its cloud environment. They were able to do this because the administration consoles lacked passwords.

The company that reports cloud misconfiguration problems is not only Redlock. IBM X-Force is another company that looks after these incidents. In fact, IBM X-Force has found over 1.3 billion cases of exposed data due to misconfigured servers until September 2017.

Businesses can conduct all the trainings they want. They can tell employees never to forget to turn on the firewall, but sometimes it still happens. Data breaches can also result from bad errors that occur in the cloud. When hackers see an open door, they will take advantage of the opportunity to steal data and demand ransom from the organization. What organizations need to do is to see to it that all doors are closed and locked. In addition, monitoring the organizations’ cloud environments is important so that they will know when there’s a problem and take immediate action.