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Cloud security alert: AWS fixes serious flaw in Apache Airflow

Amazon Web Services intervenes promptly to neutralize security flaws in the well-known service

AWS has addressed a critical vulnerability in Apache Airflow that would allow session hijacking and remote code execution, highlighting the importance of security in the cloud.

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Cybersecurity researchers recently revealed that Amazon Web Services (AWS) found and fixed a serious security flaw in its Managed Workflows for Apache Airflow (MWAA). This vulnerability, dubbed FlowFixation by Tenable, could have allowed attackers to hijack user sessions and remotely execute code on underlying instances. AWS acted promptly to remediate the vulnerability, thus preventing potential abuses such as reading connection strings, adding configurations, or enabling Directed Acyclic Graphs (DAGS) that could have resulted in Remote Code Execution (RCE).

The nature of vulnerability: session fixation and XSS

The identified security issue stems from a combination of attack techniques, specifically session fixation through the AWS MWAA web management panel and misconfiguration of the AWS domain that facilitates cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks. Session fixation occurs when a user is authenticated and an existing session identifier is not invalidated, allowing the attacker to fix that identifier and, consequently, access the user's authenticated session. Abuse of this vulnerability could have allowed attackers to access the victims' web management panel.

Wider security implications and fixes

The FlowFixation vulnerability highlights a broader issue related to the architecture and domain management of cloud service providers, particularly as it relates to the Public Suffix List (PSL) and shared parent domains. This shared structure increases the risk of attacks such as same-site attacks, cross-origin issues, and cookie tossing, potentially leading to unauthorized access, data leaks, and code execution. AWS and Azure responded by adding the misconfigured domains to the PSL, while Google Cloud deemed the issue not serious enough to require a fix.

Attack awareness and prevention

The FlowFixation case highlights the importance of cybersecurity awareness and prevention, especially within cloud architectures. Domain configuration can have a significant security impact, facilitating same-site attacks, cookie-tossing CSRF bypasses, and session fixation abuse. It is therefore crucial to adopt proactive approaches to identify and mitigate these vulnerabilities, ensuring the protection of data and resources in the cloud environment.

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03/22/2024 14:26

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