Cyble Research Labs announced that they have found multiple DCIM software with vulnerabilities, allowing hackers to damage data centers when exploited. These tools include monitoring devices, thermal cooling management control systems, and rack power monitors. The investigation shows that over 20,000 instances and tools are public-facing. Some of these instances are using default factory passwords, increasing the risk of cyberattacks.
Thousands of instances that provide access to critical management tools are still using the factory-default passwords.
DCIM stands for data center infrastructure management. It allows administrators to collect, store, and analyze network, power, and cooling data, which is crucial for data centers. Thus, protecting these tools should be a top priority for organizations, as they rely on them. However, according to Cyble’s investigation, most of them have vulnerabilities and loopholes which can easily be exploited.
The company stated that Sunbird dcTrack’s DCIM solution’s dashboard allows an attacker with access to the admin console to have access to everything the dashboard manages. Hackers can easily manipulate the real-time temperature & humidity of the racks, which can cause devices to overheat and damage. The tool also allows an attacker to the floor & rack planning and uncover the rack and cabinet details. Hackers can also reset the applications and software, compromise by uploading malicious backup files, remove backups, and change the backup time interval.
During the investigation, Cyble also found out that Device42’s DCIM tool running on default admin passwords. The solution provides agentless and automatic discovery of physical, virtual, and cloud components. A hacker with the access can discover storage and network switching, bare metal servers, chassis and blades, hypervisors, IP subnets, and cloud services easily. The access also allows attackers to monitor IP addresses and collect database details.
Liebert CRV -iCOM
Liebert CRV -iCOM solution provides temperature and humidity control. Researchers found multiple instances using the default password. It allows hackers to access the cooling units of the facility, possibly allowing them to overheat the components. Threat actors can access logs and events or change values of cooling units like temperature, humidity, cooling, sensor calculations, fan speed, sensors functions, fluid temperature threshold, etc.
By manipulating the load, voltage, and other settings, cybercriminals can damage the data center’s assets
Researchers also found various exposed web interfaces of solutions used in rack monitoring, using factory-default passwords. These solutions are connected to sensors, power units, networking devices, and even CCTV cameras. Communication modules allow the Rack Power Distribution Unit to be remotely controlled and monitored. Smart Uninterruptible Power Supply systems play an important role, especially during outages. It also increases battery life by adjusting the charging voltage.
If a hacker gains control over these consoles, this system can be easily turned off, rebooted, or put to sleep. Additionally, Automatic Transfer Switches allow the power load to be redirected to an alternate supply during electrical issues in primary power supplies. By manipulating the load, voltage, and other settings, cybercriminals can damage the data center’s assets.
Impacts and recommendations
Cyble stated that the possible impacts of these vulnerabilities are:
- Data Centers are the most important critical infrastructure for the nation and the organization using the data center facilities. A successful attack on this vital sector can lead to the loss of a considerable amount of money.
- The data stored- and processed in the data centers can be corrupted and destroyed, which can cause a severe impact on the organization’s brand reputation.
- Hackers can even delete the traces of their attack by deleting the logs from the web consoles found above.
- Data centers are critical infrastructures with high security, yet the use of multiple vendors and products increases the scope of attack for Threat Actors (TA).
- Many sensitive details like sensors information, network details, user details, firmware details, backup files, logs, etc., can be used by malicious groups to plan a more threatening and strategic attack towards the complete data center environment.
- A data center of the financial sector processes a lot of critical data. A cyber-attack on the data center’s cooling system can result in the loss of this data or even stop the time-sensitive processes connected with the data processed from the data centers.
- A cyber-attack on data centers can cause chaos among the parties concerned, as confidential data might be stored at that center.
- Suppose a hacker manipulates the controlled parameters of power systems present in the data center. In that case, the maintenance or repair costs can be huge as there are many devices dependent on the smooth functioning of power systems.
- Hackers can sell sensitive information like user credentials, data center blueprints, and component details on dark web markets and forums to bidders of an enemy nation.
The Cyble researchers also recommend administrators to:
- Apply risk management framework to the critical infrastructure
- Cyber security awareness programs are a must for employers and management to understand new risks and threats emerging in the cyber world.
- Multiple vendors report advisories at regular intervals. These security vulnerabilities must be patched quickly before Threat Actors (TA) exploit them.
- Public-facing web instances are a significant threat for the critical sectors which go unaddressed by the security teams. Doing so puts the complete environment at risk of cyber-attack. Checking assets exposure is very important in these sectors.
- Implementation of proper access control on all the connected assets should be considered the first step towards ensuring security.
- Proper network segmentation is necessary for safeguarding the data centers from network-based attacks.
- Regular audits in the critical sector like data centers can help prevent downtime to a significant level.
- A strong password policy within the organization is important as data leaks are happening daily. If an employee working in a data center uses the same or similar passwords to access the corporate network, this can put the complete data center in danger.
- Vulnerability assessment and penetration testing exercise will greatly help any critical to understand the flaws in the current system.
- Including threat intelligence with the current security, a framework can boost security to a large extent.