A publicly accessible Amazon S3 bucket was found storing documents apparently detailing GoDaddy infrastructure running in the Amazon AWS cloud, UpGuard reveals.
GoDaddy is considered the world’s largest domain name registrar and, as of this year, is also the largest web hosting provider by market share. It is also one of the largest SSL certificate providers. The company has over 17 million customers and handles more than 76 million domain names.
The improperly secured Amazon S3 bucket, which was discovered in June, included documents revealing “high-level configuration information for tens of thousands of systems and pricing options for running those systems in Amazon AWS, including the discounts offered under different scenarios,” UpGuard says.
Named abbottgodaddy, the S3 bucket included iterations of an Excel spreadsheet, the last of which was 17MB in size and included multiple sheets and tens of thousands of rows.
The document, UpGuard’s security researchers explain, included fields for hostname, operating system, workload, AWS region, memory and CPU specs, and more.
“Essentially, this data mapped a very large scale AWS cloud infrastructure deployment, with 41 different columns on individual systems, as well as summarized and modeled data on totals, averages, and other calculated fields,” the researchers say.
The largest of the exposed sheets, named GDDY Machine Raw Data, was found to include forty-one data points for over 24,000 unique hostnames. Some of the rows, the researchers explain, “appear to summarize those same data points for collections of multiple machines.”
According to UpGuard, an attacker could abuse the exposed configuration data as a map of GoDaddy’s servers, to select targets based on role, probable data, size, and region. The exposed data can be highly valuable for competitors as well, allowing them to build their cloud hosting strategy and pricing based on it.
“While not directly providing credentials or exposing sensitive information stored on these servers, exposures of configuration details for digital infrastructure can provide a stepping stone to attacks that do access such information,” the researchers point out.
Data exposure through insecure Amazon S3 buckets does not require a malicious actor and anyone could fall victim. By default, these storage buckets are private and only designated users can access them, but misconfiguration often results in anyone having access to the content.
In this case, it appears that an AWS salesperson created the bucket, but did not properly secure it.
“This incident was caused by AWS,” a GoDaddy spokesperson told SecurityWeek.
“As for the documents that were exposed, they were speculative models from an AWS employee and do not reflect work currently underway with Amazon. The bucket did not contain any customer data,” GoDaddy said.
“The bucket in question was created by an AWS salesperson to store prospective AWS pricing scenarios while working with a customer. No GoDaddy customer information was in the bucket that was exposed. While Amazon S3 is secure by default and bucket access is locked down to just the account owner and root administrator under default configurations, the salesperson did not follow AWS best practices with this particular bucket,” Amazon said, responding to a SecurityWeek inquiry.
UpGuard found the exposed bucket on June 19 and started its notification efforts on June 20. Within a week, the exposure had been closed.