Amazon, Microsoft Cloud Leaks Highlight Lingering Misconfiguration Issues

A string of family names recently have been answerable for misconfigured cloud storage buckets overflowing with wide-open information — as soon as once more shining a light-weight on a cybersecurity drawback for which there seemingly is no plug. 

Simply final week, safety researcher Anurag Sen revealed that an Amazon server had exposed data on the viewing habits of Amazon Prime members. Throughout the identical interval, information and media conglomerate Thomson Reuters acknowledged that three misconfigured servers had uncovered 3TB of knowledge via public-facing ElasticSearch databases, according to Cybernews, which revealed the issues

And In mid-October, Microsoft acknowledged that it left a misconfigured cloud endpoint open that may expose buyer information, akin to names, e-mail addresses, e-mail content material, and cellphone numbers. 

“The problem was brought on by an unintentional misconfiguration on an endpoint that isn’t in use throughout the Microsoft ecosystem and was not the results of a safety vulnerability,” Microsoft mentioned in its statement on the misconfigured server. “We’re working to enhance our processes to additional stop this sort of misconfiguration and performing further due diligence to analyze and make sure the safety of all Microsoft endpoints.”

And certainly, the leaks are brought on by a wide range of misconfigurations fairly than any bugs — starting from insecure read-and-write permissions to improper entry lists and misconfigured insurance policies — all of which may permit menace actors to entry, copy, and presumably alter delicate information from accessible information shops.

“The principle concern with this type of leak is the excessive impression, and that’s the reason the menace actors go after misconfigured storage [servers] and buckets,” says Ensar Şeker, CISO at SOCRadar, the cybersecurity agency that found the Microsoft difficulty. “As soon as they uncover [the accessible data], the bucket may … comprise enormous quantities of delicate information for one tenant [or] quite a few tenants.”

The safety impression of misconfigured storage isn’t a brand new difficulty. The issue usually ranks within the prime 10 safety points included within the common Open Net Functions Safety Undertaking (OWASP) Prime 10 safety record. In 2021, Security Misconfiguration took the No. 5 spot, up from No. 6 in 2017. The annual “Information Breach Investigations Report,” printed by Verizon Enterprise, additionally notes the outsized impression of misconfigured cloud storage: Human errors accounted for 13% of all breaches in 2021, with report noting that misconfiguration “closely influenced” the consequence

Rogue Servers: A Stealth Cloud Safety Downside

Total, 81% of organizations have skilled a safety incident associated to their cloud companies over the previous 12 months, with nearly half (45%) struggling a minimum of 4 incidents, in response to Venafi. The rise in complexity of cloud-based and hybrid infrastructure, together with a scarcity of visibility into that infrastructure, has precipitated the rise in incidents, says Sitaram Iyer, senior director of cloud-native options at Venafi.

“Sure, misconfigured cloud storage is among the main causes for information leaks — I do imagine that this can be a pattern,” he says. “The rise on this pattern is most frequently as a consequence of misconfiguration associated to entry controls: Whereas solely licensed customers should be allowed entry to cloud storage, a easy mistake in configuration typically permits [any] authenticated customers to realize entry.”

But, typically misconfiguration isn’t the unique sin — as a substitute, a employee or developer will deploy a “shadow” server, a container or storage bucket not recognized to the information-technology division and, thus, not managed by the corporate. “Shadow” information — saved in cloned databases take a look at environments, unmanaged backups, and information evaluation pipelines — is the primary menace, says Amit Shaked, CEO and co-founder of Laminar, a cloud information safety platform.

“As a result of it’s unknown, it’s at further threat for publicity, which makes it a preferred goal for adversaries,” he says

Higher DevOps Automation May Assist

Corporations ought to usually monitor their cloud belongings to detect when a datastore or storage bucket might have been uncovered to the general public web. As well as, when deploying cloud storage, utilizing infrastructure-as-code (IaC) configuration recordsdata not solely automates deployments however helps get rid of errors, in response to information from Snyk, a maker of safety companies for the software program provide chain.

Adopting IaC reduces cloud misconfigurations by 70%, in response to the agency.

“When IaC isn’t getting used, or when runtime misconfigurations can’t be tied again to the IaC templates that have been used to create and handle an setting, it’s widespread for a similar vulnerability to look time and again after remediation,” Manoj Nair, chief product officer at Snyk, mentioned in a press release despatched to Darkish Studying.

A part of the problem continues to be the division of duties between cloud suppliers and the enterprise prospects. Whereas the duty for configuring cloud belongings belong to the shopper, the cloud service ought to make correctly configuring a cloud asset as straightforward as attainable, Venafi’s Iyer says.

“Precept of least privilege have to be adopted for each facet of the info,” he says. “Entry to information have to be supplied as wanted, with correct controls and authorization insurance policies that tie it to a particular consumer or service account, and correct logging of entry and notifications have to be applied.”

In a press release despatched to Darkish Studying, an Amazon spokesperson mentioned of the Prime Video case:  “There was a deployment error with a Prime Video analytics server. This drawback has been resolved and no account data (together with login or fee particulars) have been uncovered.”


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