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Friday, 24 January 2020 11:09

AWS engineer leaves sensitive info in GitHub repository

AWS engineer leaves sensitive info in GitHub repository Image by Jagrit Parajuli from Pixabay

An Amazon Web Services engineer left 954MB of data in a GitHub repository, among them personal identity documents and system credentials including passwords.

The repository was noticed on 13 January by staff of the security firm UpGuard who notified AWS about the contents.

UpGuard said in a blog post that AWS had acted swiftly and secured access to the repository in a little more than two hours after being notified.

"The repository was structured as general storage rather than application code, with many files in the top level directory and no clear convention for the subdirectories," UpGuard said.

"Consistent with the engineer’s role, there were many AWS resource templates and log files, some of which included enough mentions of hostnames to identify likely AWS customers being assisted by the engineer.

"Timestamps in the logs indicate they were generated throughout the second half of 2019."

There were many credentials in the repository, with many being access keys for various cloud services. Multiple AWS key pairs were also present, including one named rootkey.asc that suggested it would provide root access to the owner's account.

The repository also contained numerous documents that enabled the UpGuard staff to establish who owned it.

"A LinkedIn profile matching the exact full name identified one person who listed AWS as their employer in a role that matched the kinds of data found in the repository," the company wrote.

"Other documents in the repository included training for AWS personnel and documents marked as 'Amazon Confidential'. Based on this evidence, UpGuard is confident the data originated from an AWS engineer."


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.



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