December 3, 2023

The number of public-facing databases increased 16% in second half of 2021.

Researchers on Wednesday reported that in the second half of 2021, the number of public-facing databases increased by 16% to 165,600, with most of them stored on web servers in the United States.

Group-IB’s Attack Surface Management team, said the number of databases exposed to the open web has been growing every quarter to reach its peak of 91,200 in Q1 2022. Most of the exposed databases use the Redis database management system (37.5%), followed by MongoDB (31%). Improper configuration is the main cause.


The consequences of an exposed database range from a data breach to a subsequent follow-up attack on the employees or customers whose information was left unsecured.

Researchers says all it takes for things to go south is minor configuration changes to the database service or firewall. This means seconds of effort, adding that security teams should manage cloud instances by Puppet, or similar, to ensure all operating systems are hardened by default.

Group-IB’s researchers also say that the largest number of identified exposed databases (93,600) were found on servers located in the United States. China (with 54,700 exposed databases) and Germany (11,100) round up the top three.

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