Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Cloud Security

9/14/2017
04:10 PM
Curtis Franklin
Curtis Franklin
Curt Franklin
50%
50%

AWS Elasticsearch Servers Host Malware

Two strains of POS malware have been using Elasticsearch servers on AWS as hiding places.

Cloud-hosted servers are at the root of yet another malware outbreak as more than 4,000 ElasticSearch servers, most hosted on AWS, have been found to be infected with two strains of malware aimed at point-of-sale (POS) terminals. The malware -- AlinaPOS and JackPOS -- has been around for at least five years but is now being widely sold on dark web malware sites.

Researchers at Kromtech discovered the malware instances during research on Elasticsearch and found that many of the servers had been infected multiple times with multiple versions of the malware. The question is, why were the Elasticsearch instances on AWS hit particularly hard?

Elasticsearch is an open-source search and analytics engine that is fully indexed so searches are very fast. It can run on very small hardware footprints and that's why so many Elasticsearch servers are hosted on AWS -- and why a particular vulnerability to this malware exists. According to the Kromtech research blog post:

Amazon Web Services provides customers with a free T2 micro (EC2 / Elastic Compute Cloud) instance with up to 10 Gb of disk space. These T2 instances are designed for operations that don't use the full CPU for general purpose workloads, such as web servers, developer environments, and small databases. The problem is that on the T2 micro, you can set only versions 1.5.2 and 2.3.2.

Amazon makes it very fast and very easy to set up one of these Elasticsearch instances. Unfortunately, the speed and ease make it very fast and easy to skip all the security settings, leaving both functionality and administration of the Elasticsearch instance open to the world. And everyone knows that there is little that a hacker loves more than an unlocked, open instance.

So what are companies to do with Elasticsearch instances that they now assume to be infected? The Kromtech Security Center has a list of suggestion in the blog post announcing the find; the points of the list boil down to tear down the instance, throw it away and start over from a known-good image.


Get real-world answers to virtualization challenges from industry leaders. Join us for the NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver. Register now for this exclusive opportunity to learn from and network with industry experts -- communications service providers get in free!

Elastic has their own list of security suggestions which are largely things that should be done as part of all security processes for all applications and infrastructure components. To both of these sets of suggestions, Security Now has one more that seems necessary on the heels of recent vulnerabilities.

Be careful when you configure cloud-based servers. Don't click in rapid-fire fashion through security questions and setup parameters. Take the few minutes required to understand what you're setting up and why. Proper cloud setup isn't necessarily hard: It just takes thought and a little bit of patience. And it could pay off in the joy that comes through knowing that you're not a major stop on the dark web malware repository road.

Related posts:

— Curtis Franklin is the editor of SecurityNow.com. Follow him on Twitter @kg4gwa.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 9/17/2020
Cybersecurity Bounces Back, but Talent Still Absent
Simone Petrella, Chief Executive Officer, CyberVista,  9/16/2020
Meet the Computer Scientist Who Helped Push for Paper Ballots
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  9/16/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-14180
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-21
Affected versions of Atlassian Jira Service Desk Server and Data Center allow remote attackers authenticated as a non-administrator user to view Project Request-Types and Descriptions, via an Information Disclosure vulnerability in the editform request-type-fields resource. The affected versions are...
CVE-2020-14177
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-21
Affected versions of Atlassian Jira Server and Data Center allow remote attackers to impact the application's availability via a Regex-based Denial of Service (DoS) vulnerability in JQL version searching. The affected versions are before version 7.13.16; from version 7.14.0 before 8.5.7; from versio...
CVE-2020-14179
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-21
Affected versions of Atlassian Jira Server and Data Center allow remote, unauthenticated attackers to view custom field names and custom SLA names via an Information Disclosure vulnerability in the /secure/QueryComponent!Default.jspa endpoint. The affected versions are before version 8.5.8, and from...
CVE-2020-25789
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-19
An issue was discovered in Tiny Tiny RSS (aka tt-rss) before 2020-09-16. The cached_url feature mishandles JavaScript inside an SVG document.
CVE-2020-25790
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-19
** DISPUTED ** Typesetter CMS 5.x through 5.1 allows admins to upload and execute arbitrary PHP code via a .php file inside a ZIP archive. NOTE: the vendor disputes the significance of this report because "admins are considered trustworthy"; however, the behavior "contradicts our secu...