Security experts are alerting on the availability in the underground black market of a zero day exploit for a vulnerability in the phpMoAdmin MongoDB GUI.
In February, three students from the University of Saarland in Germany discovered that MongoDB databases running at TCP port 27017 as a service of several thousand of commercial web servers are exposed on the Internet without proper defense measures.MongoDB is a cross-platform document-oriented database which uses JSON-like documents with dynamic schemas (BSON) improving the integration of data between different applications. MongoDB is very popular for scalability, performance and high availability, it represents a valid solution also for very complex architectures, in order to achieve high performance MongoDB leverage in-memory computing.
Over 40,000 websites running MongoDB were found vulnerable to cyber attacks, but bad news doesn’t end here. The hacker known with the pseudonym “sp1nlock” has discovered a critical Zero-Day Remote Code Execution vulnerability in ‘phpMoAdmin‘, which is a free and open-source MongoDB GUI. The phpMoAdmin is written in PHP, and implements a comfortable environment to manage noSQL database MongoDB.
MongoDB, one of the leading NoSQL databases, is an open-source database used by companies of all sizes, across all industries for a wide variety of applications. By leveraging in-memory computing, MongoDB provides high performance for both reads and writes.
The zero day exploit is being available on several underground forums for sale, by exploiting the flaw in the phpMoAdmin an unauthorized remote user can hijack websites running the phpMoAdmin tool.
It is very likely that a number of bad actors have already acquired the phpMoAdmin zero day exploit to compromise vulnerable MongoDB. In time I’m writing there is no patch yet available, users of MongoDB database are recommended to avoid using phpMoAdmin waiting for a security update. As highlighted by the colleagues at TheHackerNews who spread the news first, users can use other free MongoDB GUI available on the market:
RockMongo – A Powerful MongoDB GUI Tool
MongoVUE – A Desktop based MongoDB GUI Tool
Mongo-Express – A well featured MongoDB GUI Tool
UMongo – A Decent MongoDB GUI Tool
Genghis – A lightweight MongoDB GUI Tool
Another option for MongoDB users is to restrict unauthorized access for folder containing the “moadmin.php” file.
Pierluigi Paganini is member of the ENISA (European Union Agency for Network and Information Security) Threat Landscape Stakeholder Group and Cyber G7 Group, he is also a Security Evangelist, Security Analyst and Freelance Writer.
Editor-in-Chief at "Cyber Defense Magazine", Pierluigi is a cyber security expert with over 20 years experience in the field, he is Certified Ethical Hacker at EC Council in London. The passion for writing and a strong belief that security is founded on sharing and awareness led Pierluigi to find the security blog "Security Affairs" recently named a Top National Security Resource for US.
Pierluigi is a member of the "The Hacker News" team and he is a writer for some major publications in the field such as Cyber War Zone, ICTTF, Infosec Island, Infosec Institute, The Hacker News Magazine and for many other Security magazines.
Author of the Books "The Deep Dark Web" and “Digital Virtual Currency and Bitcoin”.