Last updated at Wed, 30 Aug 2017 17:49:24 GMT

It's summer in the northern hemisphere and many folks are working their way through carefully crafted reading lists, rounding out each evening exploring fictional lands or investigating engrossing biographies. I'm hoping that by the end of this post, you'll be adding another item to your "must read" list — a tome whose pages are bursting with exploits carried out by crafty, international adversaries and stories of modern day sleuths on the hunt for those who would seek their fortunes by preying on the innocent and ill-prepared. "What work is this?!" you ask (no doubt with eager anticipation). Why, it's none other than the Cisco 2017 Midyear Cybersecurity Report (MCR)!

This year, Rapid7—along with nine other organizations—contributed content for Cisco's mid-year threat landscape review, and it truly is a treasure trove of information with data, intelligence and guidance from a wide range of focus areas across the many disciplines of cybersecurity.

Avid readers of the R7 blog likely remember our foray into "DevOps" server-ransomware earlier this year. We've been using Project Sonar to monitor MongoDB, CouchDB, Elasticsearch and Docker—what we're calling "DevOps" servers—since January, and we've provided a deep-dive into the state of these services in the Cisco 2017 MCR.

You should read the "DevOps" section within the context of the entire report as other sections provide both reinforcement and additional adversary context to our findings, but we wanted to show a small extension of the MongoDB server status here since we've performed a few more scans since we provided the research results in the MCR:

There are two main takeaways from both the current state of MongoDB (and the other "DevOps" servers).

First: Good show! While there are still thousands of MongoDB (and CouchDB, and Elasticsearch, and Docker, etc) exposed to the internet without authentication, the numbers are generally decreasing or holding steady (discrepancies per-scan are expected since mining the internet for data is notoriousily fraught with technical peril) and it seems attackers have realized that the remaining instances out there are likely non-production, forgotten or abandoned systems. It would be great if the owners of these systems yanked them off of the internet, but the issue appears to have been (at least, temporarily) abated.

Second: Be vigilant! Attackers have had ample opportunity to fine tune their "DevOps" discovery kits as well as their ransom/destruction kits. We've all witnessed just how easy it is for our adversaries to gain an internal foothold when they believe it will be beneficial (ref: WannaCry and Petya-not-Petya). It truly is only a matter of time before the techniques they've perfected on the open internet make their way into our gilded internal network cages. It would be very prudent to take this summer lull to scan for open or weak-credentialed "DevOps" servers in your own environments and make sure they're more properly secured before you find yourself standing feeding bills into a Bitcoin ATM when you should be basking in the sun on the beach.

The Cisco 2017 MCR is absolute "must add" to the reading lists of IT and cybersecurity professionals and we hope you take some time to digest it out over the coming days/weeks.