Security researchers have identified 1,859 apps across Android and iOS containing hard-coded Amazon Web Services (AWS) credentials. This poses a huge security risk.
Symantec’s Threat Hunter Team, a part of Broadcom Software, wrote in a report that “over three-quarters (77%) of the apps contained valid AWS access tokens allowing access to private AWS cloud services.”
Over 50% of the apps were found using the same AWS tokes found in other apps maintained by developers and companies. This could be an indication of a supply chain vulnerability.
“The AWS access tokens could be traced to a shared library, third-party SDK, or other shared component used in developing the apps.”
These credentials are typically used for accessing configuration files, authenticating to other cloud services and downloading the resources necessary for the app’s functionality.
Worryingly, nearly 50% of the apps identified contained valid AWS tokens that granted complete access to private files and Amazon Simple Storage (S3) buckets in the cloud. This included access to data backups and infrastructure files.
Additionally, the report found that five iOS banking apps, which rely on the same AI Digital Identity SDK, contained cloud credentials, basically leaking more than 300,000 users’ fingerprint information.
One particularly alarming case uncovered by Symantec involved an anonymous B2B company offering an intranet and communication platform that also provided a mobile software development kit (SDK) to its customers. The unnamed company had its cloud infrastructure keys embedded in the SDK for accessing the translation service.
This meant that all of its customer data was exposed. It is thought that this encompassed corporate data and financial records belonging to over 15,000 medium-to-large-sized firms.
“Instead of limiting the hard-coded access token for use with the translation cloud service, anyone with the token had full unfettered access to all the B2B company’s AWS cloud services.”
The firm stressed that it has alerted the organisations of the issues uncovered in their apps.
Crucially, API remains an important talking point in cybersecurity spheres.