Security expert discovered thousands of unsafe Kibana instances that are exposed online, the news was first reported by colleagues at THN.

Kibana is an open source data visualization plugin for Elasticsearch. It provides visualization capabilities on top of the content indexed on an Elasticsearch cluster. Users can create bar, line and scatter plots, or pie charts and maps on top of large volumes of data.

A default Kibana installation runs on localhost at port 5601, but many installs allows administrators to remotely accessible them.

A researcher that goes online with the Twitter handle @InfoSecIta has discovered over 26,000 Kibana installs exposed on the Internet, most of them in the US and China. Most of the exposed Kibana instances are hosted on cloud services from Amazon, Alibaba, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.

The experts used the popular Shodan search engine to find the Kibana instances, and unfortunately, many of them appear to be unprotected.

“About the real issue there:  Even if your server is super secured and well configured, and your Elasticsearch is bound to 127.0.0.1 or localhost, or whatever kind of loopback address, an unprotected Kibana app running on top of the elasticsearch stack can compromise your server operativity and allow unauthenticated users to access Kibana dashboard (with admin privileges), thus gifting a strong foothold in further privilege escalation attacks to malicious entities,” reads a post published by InfoSecIta on mediumexplains.

According to The Hacker News, unprotected Kibana installs belong to large enterprises, including banks, and parking management to hospitals and universities. One of the Kibana installs belong to a major firm in building automotive technology, the instance was exposing all the data coming from every camera they sold worldwide.

“Every kind of data coming from the logs/debug/status of such camera were available. I also found a Kibana stack from a big Asian stock exchange, which is still available unprotected in the wild.” the expert told THN.

The expert pointed out that most of the exposed instances are running outdated versions of the software that is known to be volberable to an arbitrary file inclusion vulnerability in its Console plugin.

The flaw could be potentially exploited by remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands on the host server.

Organizations running Kibana installs have to secure them with a string password and of course, they have to check they are running last versions of the software.

Pierluigi Paganini