Another day, another cloud service leaking personal data because of a misconfiguration. And before you jump to any conclusions, no, it’s not a leaky bucket on AWS S3 or a public blob on Microsoft Azure…
The culprit is, once again, GitHub, where an open-source hardware manufacturer has inadvertently left exposed a private-to-public repository that “could have enabled unauthorized access to information about certain user accounts on or before 2019.”
The exposed information involved an auditing data set used for employee training stored on a GitHub repository associated with an inactive former employee’s account. The data set contained some names, email addresses, shipping/billing addresses, and/or whether orders were placed successfully via credit card processor and/or PayPal, as well as details for some orders.
Luckily there were no user passwords or financial information such as credit cards in the data analysis set, however, this aspect does not make it any less relevant that multiple errors were involved in this incident: GitHub is not supposed to store personal information; even worse production data should never be used for tests or training; and, last but not least, specific procedures should be in place to secure former employees’ accounts.
Even if the leaked records do not contain credit card information, they are still interesting for threat actors, for example, to launch targeted phishing campaigns.
This is another example that shows how difficult it is for many organizations to shift their procedures and mindsets to a cloud-native environment.
How Netskope mitigates the risk of leaky cloud applications
The Netskope Next Gen SWG, part of the Netskope Intelligent SSE platform, provides granular in-line controls for GitHub (and thousands of additional SaaS and IaaS applications) including adaptive access control, DLP, and threat protection. Netskope can recognize and govern dozens of activities for GitHub (such as upload, download, create and share), and in this specific case can prevent the upload of PII to a public repository (or coach the user when such activity is detected).
Additional out-of-band controls are possible via the CASB API module (for example, an organization can be alerted if a repository is made public) and via the SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM) module where specific checks in the app can be performed to ensure it is compliant with best practices, standards, and regulations (for example a specific control for GitHub can ensure that there are no inactive users or repositories).
Similar out-of-band controls are available for AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform via the Public Cloud Security module.