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:
Another option for MongoDB users is to restrict unauthorized access for folder containing the “moadmin.php” file.