Feeds

Amazon is decompiling our apps in security gaffe hunt, says dev

Putting secret AWS keys in software is a big no-no

The essential guide to IT transformation

Amazon's crackdown on mishandling AWS credentials has astonished one software developer, who says the cloud giant is reverse-engineering Android apps for inspection.

In this blog post, Raj Bala admitted his app included his private "AWS credentials as simple strings within the app itself”, and as a result, he's received a notice from Amazon warning him against the practice.

Bala removed the app from the Google Play after receiving Amazon's alert, which states among other things, that the app was “not developed according to AWS recommended security best practices”, since Bala appears to “have embedded [his] AWS Key ID (AKID) and its corresponding AWS Secret Key within the app”.

Storing a secret key in released software is a really bad idea because it means anyone can get hold of that information and use it to hijack the developer's account.

The rest of the note from Amazon provides instructions and its recommendations for using AWS credentials securely.

Bala notes that “Amazon or someone working with them is downloading apps from the Google Play Store and decompiling and/or otherwise inspecting them.” It seems reasonable to The Register that Amazon is cracking down on the sloppy use of AWS credentials by scanning through freely available apps.

As was reported at the Australian site ITNews last week, “thousands” of AWS secret keys have shown up in searches of source code hosted by Github, leaving some developers with unexpected bills once the world at large realized their credentials were hidden in plain sight. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.