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Azure Cosmos DB alert: This important vulnerability places customers in danger

In case you’re working NoSQL databases on Microsoft’s Azure cloud, chances are high you are working Cosmos DB. And, if that is you, you are in hassle. Even Microsoft had admitted that this newly found important vulnerability, ChaosDB, allows intruders to learn, change and even delete all of your databases.

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Ouch!

In response to the Microsoft e mail describing the issue to affected prospects, “Microsoft has lately grow to be conscious of a vulnerability in Azure Cosmos DB that would doubtlessly permit a person to achieve entry to a different buyer’s sources through the use of the account’s main read-write key. This vulnerability was reported to us in confidence by an exterior safety researcher. As soon as we turned conscious of this subject on 12 August 2021, we mitigated the vulnerability instantly.”

That is a great factor as a result of in line with the cloud safety agency, WIZ, which uncovered the ChaosDB safety gap, it “offers any Azure person full admin entry (learn, write, delete) to a different buyer’s Cosmos DB cases with out authorization. The vulnerability has a trivial exploit that does not require any earlier entry to the goal setting and impacts 1000’s of organizations, together with quite a few Fortune 500 corporations.”

How trivial is the exploit? Very. 

In response to WIZ, all an attacker must do is exploit an easy-to-follow chain of vulnerabilities in Cosmos DB’s Jupyter Pocket book. Jupyter Pocket book is an open-source net utility that’s straight built-in along with your Azure portal and Cosmos DB accounts. It permits you to create and share paperwork that comprise dwell code, equations, visualizations, and narrative textual content. If that seems like lots of entry to offer to an internet utility, you are proper, it’s. 

As dangerous as that’s, after you have entry to the Jupyter Pocket book, you possibly can acquire the goal Cosmos DB account credentials, together with the databases’ Main Key. Armed with these credentials, an attacker can view, modify, and delete information within the goal Cosmos DB account in a number of methods. 

To patch this gap, you should regenerate and rotate your main read-write Cosmos DB keys for every of the impacted Azure Cosmos DB accounts. That is straightforward sufficient. And, Microsoft claims, whereas this vulnerability is dangerous information, you do not have to fret that a lot about it. Microsoft states:

We have now no indication that exterior entities outdoors the researcher had entry to the first read-write key related along with your Azure Cosmos DB account(s). As well as, we aren’t conscious of any information entry due to this vulnerability. Azure Cosmos DB accounts with a vNET or firewall enabled are protected by extra safety mechanisms that forestall [the] threat of unauthorized entry. Out of an abundance of warning, we’re notifying you to take the next actions as a precautionary measure.

WIZ is not so optimistic. Whereas agreeing that Microsoft’s safety took quick motion to repair the issue and disabled the weak function inside 48 hours of being advised about ChaosDB, the researchers level out that “the vulnerability has been exploitable for months and each Cosmos DB buyer ought to assume they have been uncovered.”

I agree. It’s miles higher to be protected than sorry when coping with a safety gap of this dimension and magnitude.

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