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DCIM vulnerability leaves 20,000+ systems exposed

Written by Thu 3 Feb 2022

Cybersecurity firm Cyble Research Labs conducted an in-depth study of data centre infrastructure management (DCIM) vulnerabilities, and found systemic weaknesses that put data centres at risk of cyber attacks.

Specifically, Cyble found problems with “multiple DCIM software, intelligent monitoring devices, thermal cooling management controls systems and rack power monitors vulnerable to cyberattacks.” They also found that 20,000 separate instances of DCIM solutions are public-facing, increasing the threat of cyber attacks in the data centre; and that many of these instances are secured with default factory passwords making them an even easier target for attack.

In conducting this study, the researchers at Cyble were able to exploit these vulnerabilities and access multiple administrator dashboards, from which they could manipulate assets, power, temperature, reports, backups, user credentials, and more. DCIM software from Device42 and Leibert CRV iCOM are among those that are public-facing but secured only with the default passwords. If a malicious attacker gets access to the administrator dashboard using the default password, they can set in motion a chain of events that result in major problems to the data centre – up to and including complete shutdown of the facility.

The Cyble team was also able to access the server rack monitoring systems, including multiple exposed web interfaces using factory passwords increasing the chances that a hacker could access them. They manipulated communications systems, uninterruptible power supply (UPS), and automatic transfer switches as well.

The impact of these vulnerabilities could be severe. To protect the business – and sensitive customer data – Cyble recommends that data centres take steps to improve security, including:

  • Cyber security awareness and training
  • Installing software patches as soon as they are released
  • Reviewing asset exposure on public-facing web instances
  • Implementing of access control
  • Segmenting networks properly
  • Conducting regular security audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration testing

Cyber attacks are growing more sophisticated, and their impact can be quite severe. According to Gartner, data centre downtime costs a company $5,600 per minute on average – and that does not include indirect costs like loss of customer confidence and bad press. To ensure that data centres are reliable and secure, it is critical that businesses review their protocols and are aware of potential vulnerabilities that could be exposed by cybercriminals.

Written by Thu 3 Feb 2022

Tags:

cooling management cyber security data center data centre DCIM web
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