Another flaw prompted an urgent U.S. government warning and providing Guidance (Azure Cosmos DB) – 29th Aug 2021

Preface: Data scientists are big data wranglers, gathering and analyzing large sets of structured and unstructured data. Jupyter Notebooks allow data scientists to create and share their documents, from codes to full blown reports (Help them streamline their work).

Background: Azure Cosmos DB built-in Jupyter Notebooks are directly integrated into the Azure portal and Azure Cosmos DB accounts, let data scientists easy to use. The Jupyter Notebook is an open-source web application that allows you to create and share documents that contain live code, equations, visualizations and narrative text. Uses include: data cleaning and transformation, numerical simulation, statistical modeling, data visualization, machine learning, and much more.

Speculation related to this matter: A trojan malware campaign found November last year (2020) is targeting businesses and higher education in what appears to be an effort to steal usernames, passwords and other private information as well as creating a persistent backdoor onto compromised systems.

Vulnerability details: A misconfiguration vulnerability in Microsoft’s Azure Cosmos DB that may have exposed customer data. In the first step, the attacker will gained access to the client’s Cosmos DB primary key. For example, exploit the vulnerability on Jupyter Notebook (virtual machine) to get the key.

Ref: Primary keys are long-lived and allow full READ/WRITE/DELETE access to customer data.

Workaround: Navigate to your Azure Cosmos DB account on the Azure portal and Regenerate Secondary Key. Please refer to url for details – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/cosmos-db/secure-access-to-data?tabs=using-primary-key#primary-keys

CISA announcement – https://us-cert.cisa.gov/ncas/current-activity/2021/08/27/microsoft-azure-cosmos-db-guidance

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