Malicious PyPi packages found with AWS keys

Tom Forbes, a UK-based software developer, discovered 57 active API access keys for AWS services that can be exploited. They use keyloggers to steal sensitive user information stored in browsers, run shell commands, and steal typed secrets.

Forbes created a Rust tool that checks the presence of AWS API keys in all new PyPI packages. He then explains that his scanner uses GitHub Actions to look for AWS keys in new PyPI, HexPM, and RubyGems releases. If any are discovered, it generates a report with the relevant information, which is then committed to the aws-cred-scanner repo.

“This report contains the keys that have been found, as well as a public link to the keys and other metadata about the release,” Forbes said in his post. “Because these keys are committed to a public GitHub repository, Github’s Secret Scanning service kicks in and notifies AWS that the keys are leaked.”

As a result, AWS creates a service request to inform the offending developer and implements a quarantine policy to limit the possibility of key misuse. A less vigilant individual could perhaps develop an identical scanning script for misuse and exploitation.

According to Forbes, these AWS keys can be used to steal sensitive user data stored in browsers, run shell commands, and steal typed secrets.

The sources for this piece include an article in TheRegister.

IT World Canada Staff
IT World Canada Staff
The online resource for Canadian Information Technology professionals.

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