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Unix Dweeb

Cryptocurrency miners exploit Docker flaw

Mar 05, 20192 mins

A container flaw discovered just last month has been exploited by hundreds of attackers, including cryptocurrency miners, cybersecurity company Imperva says.

According to Imperva research, a container flaw reported last month (CVE-2019-5736) in Docker’s remote API has already been taken advantage of by hundreds of attackers.

Imperva claims that they were able to locate 3,822 Docker hosts with the remote API (port 2735) publicly exposed. Of these, approximately 400 were accessible, and most of these were running a cryptocurrency miner for a lesser-known form of cryptocurrency called Monero.

Monero (ticker symbol XMR) is an open-source cryptocurrency that was created in April 2014. It focuses on fungibility (individual units are essentially interchangeable), privacy, and decentralization. It also takes advantage of an obfuscated public ledger. That means anyone can broadcast or send transactions, but outside observers cannot tell the source, amount, or destination of the funds.

Mining cryptocurrencies on compromised Docker hosts is, as you’d likely expect, only one form of attack that is possible. Others — such as launching botnets or stealing credential and data — are also likely exploits.

Imperva has stressed that is it critical that anyone exposing Docker ports make sure that they create security controls that allow only trusted sources to interact with the Docker API. Refer to the Docker documentation on Securing Docker remote daemon for more information on how to enforce security controls.

Details on Imperva’s findings are available at

Unix Dweeb

Sandra Henry-Stocker has been administering Unix systems for more than 30 years. She describes herself as "USL" (Unix as a second language) but remembers enough English to write books and buy groceries. She lives in the mountains in Virginia where, when not working with or writing about Unix, she's chasing the bears away from her bird feeders.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of Sandra Henry-Stocker and do not necessarily represent those of IDG Communications, Inc., its parent, subsidiary or affiliated companies.

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