VNC Attacks in It’s Peak – Over 8,000 Servers Exposed Online Without a Password

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Over 8,000 VNC endpoints have been discovered by researchers at Cyble security firm to be exposed to the internet. Threat actors can easily gain access to internal networks by accessing and using these exposed VNC endpoints without any authentication.

VNC is designed to help users connect to a system that requires monitoring or adjustment to help them communicate over a network. Using a network connection, VNC enables remote users to control their computers using RFB over the internet.

There is a possibility that these endpoints can act as entry points for unauthorized users and threat actors if they are not properly secured with a strong password. While the systems behind the exposed VNCs may deviate depending on the type of systems behind them.

Exposed VNCs

It was discovered that more than 8,000 servers were accessible over the internet. These servers are connected to the internet through remote VNC connections without passwords.

Moreover, several exposed VNC instances have been detected to be associated with industrial control systems, as well. At the same time, there should be no internet exposure of these VNC instances.

There have been several cases of exposed VNC connections being used by industrial control systems to control pumps on remote SCADA systems in unnamed manufacturing units.

VNC servers are usually attempted to be accessed from the Netherlands, Russia, and the United States, which are at the top of the list.

VNC Access is in High Demand

It is common for hackers to post on hacker forums that they are looking for access to critical networks via VNCs that are cracked or exposed. Depending on the circumstances, this type of entry could be used in order to infiltrate deeper into a network as a security breach.

This investigation only focused on instances that unmuted the authentication layer completely, which raises another concern over VNC security.

The amount of potentially vulnerable instances would be much greater if all the unsecured servers whose passwords are easy to crack were included. Moreover, VNC administrators should avoid directly exposing servers to the internet when using VNC.