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Blog Threat Labs Cloud Threats Memo: Manage Your Leaky Public Cloud Misconfigurations
Oct 19 2021

Cloud Threats Memo: Manage Your Leaky Public Cloud Misconfigurations

A new day, a new wave of S3 leaks…

Cloud misconfigurations continue to be a major concern for organizations and a constant source of data leaks. A recent report by IBM has revealed that misconfigurations are behind two-thirds of cloud security incidents. In the latest example Thingiverse, a website dedicated to sharing user-created digital design files, has allegedly suffered a leak on a popular hacking forum of a 36GB backup file with 228,000 unique email addresses and other personally identifiable information such as IP addresses, usernames, physical addresses, and full names. And guess what? Unsurprisingly the data comes from an SQL backup stored on a misconfigured AWS S3 bucket and, even worse, it was apparently dumped for the first time on October 13, 2020. Despite sharing an update, Makerbot, Thingiverse’s parent company, has somehow downplayed the impact of the breach claiming that less than 500 real users have really been affected, this is yet another example of the consequences of cloud misconfigurations, and how quickly bad actors can exploit them.

And it’s not the only one… In a separate incident, a  few days earlier, the same fate befell Plug and Play Ventures, a venture capital firm that runs a matchmaking service linking investors with startups. With a scary coincidence, the company exposed a 6GB PostgreSQL database (containing the personal information of the investors and the startup CEOs and more than 50,000 unique email addresses) from a misconfigured AWS S3 bucket, and even in this case, the data had been left unsecured for almost a year (October 20, 2020).

These two examples show not only how common these misconfigurations might be (and how bad the consequences might be), but also how easily these security holes can go undetected for months (or years).

How Netskope mitigates the risk of misconfigurations in public cloud

Netskope Public Cloud Security detects misconfigurations on IaaS environments such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, preventing organizations from leaking data from publicly accessible buckets or blobs, and in general from leaving misconfigurations that can be exploited by the bad actors. A set of predefined profiles allows userrs to comply with best practices and industry standards such as NIST CSF, PCI-DSS, CIS. Additionally, it is possible to easily build custom rules with a Domain Specific Language. The same protection is also available for SaaS applications (such as Microsoft 365, Salesforce, GitHub, Zoom, and ServiceNow) thanks to the new SSPM (SaaS Security Posture Management) module.

Netskope Private Access publishes resources (including RDP and SSH servers) in a simple and secure manner embracing the Zero Trust paradigm. It is possible to publish and segment resources located in a local data center, but also in a private or public cloud. The published service is not directly visible, and a security posture check is performed before the access is granted, mitigating the risk of brute-force or password-spraying attacks, a common way for malicious actors to exploit exposed services to break into organizations.

Stay safe!

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About the author
Paolo supports Netskope’s customers in protecting their journey to the cloud and is a security professional, with 20+ years experience in the infosec industry. He is the mastermind behind hackmageddon.com, a blog detailing timelines and statistics of all the main cyber-attacks occurred since 2011. It is the primary source of data and trends of the threat landscape for the Infosec community.
Paolo supports Netskope’s customers in protecting their journey to the cloud and is a security professional, with 20+ years experience in the infosec industry. He is the mastermind behind hackmageddon.com, a blog detailing timelines and statistics of all the main cyber-attacks occurred since 2011. It is the primary source of…