IT Analyst Career

The RDP protocol is a frequent target for credential stuffing and other brute-force password guessing attacks that rely on lists of common usernames and password combinations or on credentials stolen from other sources. Some cybercriminals even specialize in selling hacked RDP credentials as a commodity on the underground market to other hackers who use them to deploy ransomware and cryptominers or to engage in more sophisticated attacks that can lead to the theft of sensitive data and more extensive network compromises.

"McAfee ATR has noticed an increase in both the number of attacks against RDP ports and in the volume of RDP credentials sold on underground markets," researchers from security firm McAfee said in a new report.

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The company notes that the number of RDP ports exposed to the internet has grown from around 3 million in January to more than 4.5 million in March. More than a third of them are in the US and another third are in China. More than half of the machines with exposed RDP ports are running some version of Windows Server, but around a fifth run Windows 7, which is no longer supported and does not receive security updates. That's a concern because in addition to often being configured with weak passwords, RDP has also seen its share of vulnerabilities and exploits over the years.
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