Security researchers from GreyNoise warn about several botnets scanning the internet for ENV files. These are the configuration files storing sensitive data like database passwords and API tokens, thus need to be stored safely. Threat actors are with more than 2,800 botnets have been recorded scanning for web servers having these files exposed.
Botnets Looking For Exposed ENV Files
We’ve seen instances of threat actors scanning the internet for exposed databases, to steal and leak them later. Developers of all kinds are then advised to secure their SSH private keys and GIT configuration files for any accidental exposures. But, securing ENV files too is as important as them.
Environment files or shortly, ENV files are configuration files that store the passwords, database login credentials and API tokens of service, and needs to be secured with proper authentication protocols. These are used by several frameworks like Node.js, Docker, Django and Symfony developers.
Since these are sensitive, they need to be saved in encrypted folders of their platforms and should be accessible to only selected ones. But, researchers from GreyNoise, a security firm says these could be at risk, just as exposed services. They said about 2,800 botnets are scanning the internet for exposed ENV files for the past three years.
Ouch. Anyways, here's a list of every single IP address crawling the entire Internet for .env files using @GreyNoiseIO:https://t.co/pYBXhX6VZN
GNQL: web.paths:".env" https://t.co/mrDYSjswWV pic.twitter.com/LppKdJ5lce
— Andrew Morris (@Andrew___Morris) November 17, 2020
And more 1,100 botnets are recorded to be actively looking for these files just the last month. Bad Packets, a malware tracking service has also notified about these scans in the past. Attackers who found these ENV files will be downloading them, only to steal the credentials and use them for further exploitations.
They could be used for gaining access to the platform’s network and steal sensitive data or install a backdoor for dumping a ransomware malware or run cryptojacking operations. Thus, developers are advised to lookout for exposed ENV files to secure them.
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