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Elias Perez
Elias Perez

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Template users may have limited access to regions where they can create resources. A hardcoded resource location might block users from creating a resource, thus preventing them from using the template. By providing a location parameter that defaults to the resource group location, users can use the default value when convenient but also specify a different location.



Rather than using a hardcoded string or variable value, use a parameter, the string 'global', or an expression (but not resourceGroup().location or deployment().location, see no-loc-expr-outside-params). Best practice suggests that to set your resources' locations, your template should have a string parameter named location. This parameter may default to the resource group or deployment location (resourceGroup().location or deployment().location).

If you have plaintext secrets in your code, we recommend that you rotate them and store them in Secrets Manager. Moving the secret to Secrets Manager solves the problem of the secret being visible to anyone who sees the code, because going forward, your code retrieves the secret directly from Secrets Manager. Rotating the secret revokes the current hardcoded secret so that it is no longer valid.

The first step is to copy the existing hardcoded secret into Secrets Manager. If the secret is related to an AWS resource, store it in the same Region as the resource. Otherwise, store it in the Region that has lowest latency for your use case.

The last step is to revoke and update the hardcoded secret. Refer to the source of the secret to find instructions to revoke and update the secret. For example, you might need to deactivate the current secret and generate a new secret.

Secrets Detectors in Action First, I select CodeGuru from the AWS Secrets Manager console. This new flow lets me associate a new repository and run a full repository analysis with the goal of identifying hardcoded secrets.

I select the repository analysis and find 42 recommendations, including one recommendation for a hardcoded secret (you can filter recommendations by Type=Secrets). CodeGuru Reviewer identified a hardcoded AWS Access Key ID in a .travis.yml file.

Atlassian on Wednesday revealed three critical product vulnerabilities, including CVE-2022-26138 stemming from a hardcoded password in Questions for Confluence, an app that allows users to quickly receive support for common questions involving Atlassian products. The company warned the passcode was "trivial to obtain."

The company said that Questions for Confluence had 8,055 installations at the time of publication. When installed, the app creates a Confluence user account named disabledsystemuser, which is intended to help admins move data between the app and the Confluence Cloud service. The hardcoded password protecting this account allows for viewing and editing of all non-restricted pages within Confluence.

"A remote, unauthenticated attacker with knowledge of the hardcoded password could exploit this to log into Confluence and access any pages the confluence-users group has access to," the company said. "It is important to remediate this vulnerability on affected systems immediately."

"This issue is likely to be exploited in the wild now that the hardcoded password is publicly known," the updated advisory read. "This vulnerability should be remediated on affected systems immediately."

Adversaries may leverage credentials that are hardcoded in software or firmware to gain an unauthorized interactive user session to an asset. Examples credentials that may be hardcoded in an asset include:

Due to the nature of this vulnerability, it can only be verified remotely by logging into the Confluence application with the hardcoded credentials. Traditional open source scanners and scripts are checking for the Location HTTP response header and 302 status code to verify the credentials, which could result in false positives. Qualys Web Application Scanning has released QID 150556 that confirms the vulnerability detection in two steps. The detection takes an additional step to verify the valid credentials by navigating to the user profile page and verifying that the correct page is returned. This check is much more efficient in comparison to open source scanners and eliminates any possibility of false positives.

While hardcoded image requests are easy to set up, they are difficult to debug, maintain, and scale across larger projects. Make sure that hardcoded image requests are the best option for you before proceeding.

Of course, here, the term "stolen credentials" encompasses a variety of cases, including probably phishing and user info bought on the dark web. But if we consider an organization crafting digital services and products, this conclusion applies to hardcoded secrets. In fact, for a code-producing organization, keeping secrets out of source code should be as evident as implementing SSO and MFA.

How to explain then that hardcoded secrets is still one of the most overlooked vulnerabilities in the application security space? We have come to the conclusion that hardcoded secrets are still poorly understood compared to other application security vulnerabilities.

Looking at the 2022 CWE Top 25 Most Dangerous Software Weaknesses list, we can see that "Use of Hard-coded Credentials" (CWE-798) is in position 15, up from 16 in the previous year. But the most interesting fact here is not so much the ranking: it is that, unlike all the other "weaknesses" on the list, the use of hardcoded secrets is not an execution vulnerability. In other words, it doesn't require running software to be a vulnerability.

When we hear about application vulnerabilities, we are used to thinking about Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF), Server-Side Request Forgery (SSRF), XML External Entity (XXE), logic flaws, etc. They all require the software to be running to be exploited. With hardcoded secrets, it's the source code itself that can be exploited. Therefore, your attack surface comprises your repositories and your entire software factory. This is a truly unique characteristic that has big implications.

Second, let's not forget that code under VCS control has a permanent history. A VCS such as git will keep track of any modifications done to a codebase and is also used to propagate these changes. Coupled with the fact that hardcoded credentials will be exploitable as long as they are not revoked, it means that still-valid secrets can be hiding anywhere on the VCS historical timeline. This opens a new dimension to the attack surface that most security analyses will never see because they are only concerned with a codebase's current, ready-to-be-deployed state.

Once you feel ready to tackle this issue, look at the recommendations in the guide below on how application security teams can effectively prioritize, investigate and remediate hardcoded secrets incidents:

"The disabledsystemuser account is created with a hardcoded password and is added to the confluence-users group, which allows viewing and editing all non-restricted pages within Confluence by default," the company explained in a security advisory published on Wednesday.

On affected servers, uninstalling the Questions for Confluence app does not remediate this vulnerability and will not remove the attack vector (i.e., the disabledsystemuser account with a hardcoded password).

Later you realize you have different label sizes, and shapes. You construct a label factory, which calls proper label files, which also configure themselves and know their own size in relation to the page which is then returned via a function call using polymorphism, and that value is then used instead of the hardcoded 4.

Developers often forget the consequences of hardcoded passwords. Despite the fact, they pose a serious cybersecurity threat. Furthermore, the use of hardcoded passwords in the source code makes it susceptible to malicious activities.

In many systems, we assign a simple default password to a default administration account that is then hardcoded into the program. As a result, this hard-coded password remains the same for all the devices or systems of this type and cannot be altered by end-users.

After that, these software products are shipped and often deployed while the default hardcoded password remains intact. Most importantly, no one in an enterprise understands the gravity of this issue until the entire IT infrastructure of the company is compromised.

Firstly, introduce a third-party privileged password management solution that discovers hardcoded credentials across an enterprise. Eventually, it forces applications or scripts to use a password from a centralized password safely.

Avoid buying software solutions from vendors using hardcoded credentials is the best solution for preventing hardcoded passwords. In this way, you can ensure the security of your entire IT infrastructure.

Generally, software vendors release patches to address flaws that come with hardcoded passwords. Thus, If you have successfully deployed the vulnerability scanning and patch management process, you can easily address all those issues before the company issue patch for that particular issue.

Toyota Motor Corporation recently suffered a data breach due to a mistakenly exposed access key on GitHub. That hardcoded access key evaded detection for five years! This news was the latest in a long line of headlines about the damage caused by hardcoding secrets in code. To combat this pervasive risk, security teams are turning to code scanners that look for secrets, but soon realize that their visibility into all the places hardcoded secrets can be lurking is incomplete and outdated.

Join Liav Caspi (CTO at Legit Security) and Roy Blit (Head of Security Research at Legit Security) as they discuss practical methods you can use to prevent software supply chain attacks and reduce the damage caused by hardcoded secrets. In this webinar you will learn: 041b061a72


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