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[Slashdot] - Attack Campaign Hits Thousands of MS-SQL Servers For Two Years

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"In December, security researchers noticed an uptick in brute-force attacks against publicly exposed Microsoft SQL servers," reports CSOnline. "It turns out the attacks go as far back as May 2018 and infect on average a couple thousand database servers every day with remote access Trojans and cryptominers." Slashdot reader itwbennett writes: While the primary goal of the attack seems to be cryptocurrency mining, "what makes these database servers appealing for attackers apart from their valuable CPU power is the huge amount of data they hold," say researchers from Guardicore who investigated the attacks. The researchers also note that most machines (60%) stay infected only briefly, but "almost 20% of all breached servers remained infected for more than a week and even longer than two weeks," and 10% become reinfected... [T]he attackers aggressively remove malware from competitors from targeted machines. Many of the infected machines are located in America, India, South Korea, and Turkey, according to the article, which adds that the researchers traced the campaign back to China. "The scans and attacks originate from Chinese IP addresses -- likely associated with infected and hijacked machines -- and the command-and-control servers are also hosted in China and use Chinese language for their web-based management interfaces."

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