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My Google API Key leaked! What should I do?

What is a Google API Key and how it is used?

An API key is a unique code issued by Google that allows developers to access and use Google's APIs, such as Maps, Calendar, and YouTube, in their applications.

When it comes to Google API Keys, developers should understand the main use cases:

  • Accessing Google APIs: Google API Keys are used to authenticate and authorize access to various Google APIs, such as Maps, YouTube, and Calendar. This allows developers to integrate Google services into their applications and utilize the functionality provided by these APIs.
  • Identifying and tracking usage: Google API Keys are also used to identify and track usage of Google APIs by individual applications. This helps developers monitor and manage the usage of their applications, as well as analyze usage patterns for optimization and cost management purposes.
  • Securing access to resources: Google API Keys play a crucial role in securing access to resources and data provided by Google APIs. By using API Keys, developers can control access permissions, enforce usage limits, and prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information.

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1. Code snippets to prevent Google API Key hardcoding using environment variables

Using environment variables for storing sensitive information like Google API Keys is a secure practice because:

  • Environment variables are not stored directly in the codebase, reducing the risk of accidental exposure through version control systems.
  • Environment variables can be configured at the system level, making it easier to manage and update sensitive information without changing the code.
  • Environment variables are not visible to users or clients interacting with the application, enhancing the overall security posture.

How to secure your secrets using environment variables

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2. Code snippet to prevent Google API Key hardcoding using AWS Secrets Manager

Using AWS Secrets Manager to manage Google API Keys is a secure way to handle sensitive data. Here are code snippets in five different programming languages that demonstrate how to retrieve the Google API Key from AWS Secrets Manager.

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3. Code snippet to prevent Google API Key hardcoding using HashiCorp Vault

Using HashiCorp Vault for managing Google API Keys is a great way to enhance security. Here are code snippets in five different programming languages for securely handling a Google API Key using HashiCorp Vault.

Remember to replace the VAULT_ADDR and VAULT_TOKEN with your Vault server address and authentication token. The snippets assume that the Google API Key is stored under the api_key field within Vault. The specifics of the Vault path and field names should be adjusted to match your Vault setup.

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4. Code snippet to prevent Google API Key hardcoding using CyberArk Conjur

Using CyberArk Conjur to manage Google API Key is a secure way to handle sensitive data. Here are code snippets in five different programming languages that demonstrate how to retrieve the Google API Key from CyberArk Conjur.

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How to generate a Google API Key?

To generate a Google API Key, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Google Cloud Platform Console: https://console.cloud.google.com/
  2. Create a new project or select an existing one.
  3. In the left sidebar, click on "APIs & Services" and then "Credentials".
  4. Click on "Create credentials" and select "API key".
  5. Your API key will be generated and displayed on the screen. Make sure to restrict the key to prevent unauthorized usage.

For more detailed information and documentation, you can refer to the following resources:

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My Google API Key leaked, what are the possible reasons?

There are several reasons why a Google API Key might have been leaked:

  • 1. Hardcoding in source code: Developers sometimes hardcode API keys directly into their source code, which can be easily exposed if the code is shared or leaked.
  • 2. Storing in version control: Storing API keys in version control repositories without proper access controls can lead to unintentional exposure.
  • 3. Logging or debugging: Inadvertently logging or printing API keys in logs or debug output can also result in leaks.
  • 4. Sharing with third parties: Sharing API keys with third-party services or developers without adequate security measures can increase the risk of leakage.
  • 5. Lack of rotation: Failure to regularly rotate API keys or implement key rotation policies can leave keys vulnerable to long-term exposure.

What are the risks of leaking a Google API Key

When developers leak a Google API Key, they are exposing themselves to several risks:

  • Data Breach: A leaked API Key can lead to unauthorized access to sensitive data stored on Google services.
  • Financial Loss: Attackers can misuse the API Key to incur charges on the developer's Google Cloud account.
  • Reputation Damage: A security breach due to a leaked API Key can tarnish the developer's reputation and erode trust with customers.
  • Service Disruption: Misuse of the API Key can lead to service disruptions or downtime for the developer's applications.

It is crucial for developers to understand the importance of safeguarding their API Keys and implementing robust security measures to prevent leaks. By following best practices in secret management and detection, developers can mitigate the risks associated with leaking sensitive information like Google API Keys.

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Google API Key security best practices

  • Avoid embedding the secret directly in your code. Instead, use environment variables or secrets managers
  • Secure storage: store the Google API Key in a secure location, such as a password manager or a secrets management service.
  • Regular rotation: periodically rotate the API key to minimize the risk of long-term exposure.
  • Restrict permissions: apply the principle of least privilege by only granting the key the minimum necessary permissions.
  • Monitor usage: regularly check the usage logs for any unusual activity or unauthorized access attempts.
  • Implement access controls: limit the number of users who have access to the secret and enforce strong authentication measures.
  • Use a secrets manager: utilize secret management tools like CyberArk or AWS Secrets Manager for enhanced security.

By adhering to the best practices, you can significantly reduce the risk associated with Google API Key usage and improve the overall security of your Google API Key implementations.

Exposing secrets on GitHub: What to do after leaking Credential and API keys

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Google API Key leak remediation: what to do

What to do if you expose a secret: How to stay calm and respond to an incident [cheat sheet included]

How to check if Google API Key was used by malicious actors

  • Review Access Logs: Check the access logs of your Google API Key account for any unauthorized access or unusual activity. Pay particular attention to access from unfamiliar IP addresses (if you haven’t set up a specific allow list) or at odd hours.
  • Monitor Usage Patterns: Look for anomalies in the usage patterns, such as unexpected spikes in data access or transfer.
  • Check Active Connections and Operations: Review the list of active connections and recent operations on your database. Unusual or unauthorized operations might indicate malicious use.
  • Audit API Usage: If possible, audit the usage of your API key through any logging or monitoring services you have integrated with Google API Key. This can give insights into any unauthorized use of your key.

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Steps to revoke the Google API Key

Generate a new Google API Key:

  • Log into your Google API Key account.
  • Navigate to the API section and generate a new API key.

Update Services with the new key:

  • Replace the compromised key with the new key in all your services that use this API key.
  • Ensure all your applications and services are updated with the new key before deactivating the old one.

Deactivate the old Google API Key:

  • Once the new key is in place and everything is functioning correctly, deactivate the old API key.
  • This can typically be done from the same section where you generated the new key.

Monitor after key rotation:

  • After deactivating the old key, monitor your systems closely to ensure that all services are running smoothly and that there are no unauthorized access attempts.

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How to understand which services will stop working

  • Inventory of services: keep an inventory of all services and applications that utilize your Google API Key.
  • Communication and documentation: Ensure that your team is aware of which services are dependent on the key. Maintain documentation for quick reference.
  • Testing: before deactivating the old key, test your services with the new key in a staging environment. This helps in identifying any services that might face issues post rotation.
  • Fallback strategies: Have a fallback or emergency plan in case a critical service fails after the key rotation. This might include temporary measures or quick rollback procedures.

In summary, the remediation process involves identifying potential misuse, carefully rotating the key, and ensuring minimal disruption to services. Being proactive and having a well-documented process can greatly reduce the risks associated with a compromised API key.

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What about other secrets?

GitGuardian helps developers keep 350+ types of secrets out of source code. GitGuardian’s automated secrets detection and remediation solution secure every step of the development lifecycle, from code to cloud:

  • On developer workstations with git hooks (pre-commit and pre-push);
  • On code sharing platforms like GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket;
  • In CI environments (Circle CI, Travis CI, Jenkins CI, GitHub Actions, and many more);
  • In Docker images.

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Environment Variables
Environment Variables
Environment Variables

charge

nullable string

For card errors, the ID of the failed charge.

payment_method_type

nullable string

If the error is specific to the type of payment method, the payment method type that had a problem. This field is only populated for invoice-related errors.

doc_url

nullable string

A URL to more information about the error code reported.

request_log_url

nullable string

A URL to the request log entry in your dashboard.

charge

nullable string

If the error is specific to the type of payment method, the payment method type that had a problem. This field is only populated for invoice-related errors.

Hide
Show
child attributes

type

enum

For some errors that could be handled programmatically, a short string indicating the error code reported.

charge

nullable string

If the error is specific to the type of payment method, the payment method type that had a problem. This field is only populated for invoice-related errors.

Hide
Show
child attributes

type

enum

For some errors that could be handled programmatically, a short string indicating the error code reported.

payment_intent

nullable object

The PaymentIntent object for errors returned on a request involving a PaymentIntent.

setup_intent

nullable object

The SetupIntent object for errors returned on a request involving a SetupIntent.

Hide
Show
child attributes

type

enum

For some errors that could be handled programmatically, a short string indicating the error code reported.

Hide
Show
child attributes

type

enum

For some errors that could be handled programmatically, a short string indicating the error code reported.

CLIENT LIBRARIES

$ gem install stripe
$ pip install stripe
$ composer require stripe/stripe-php
MAVEN
<dependency>
  <groupId>com.stripe</groupId>
  <artifactId>stripe-java</artifactId>
  <version>24.16.0</version>
</dependency>

GRADLE
compile "com.stripe:stripe-java:24.16.0"
$ npm install --save stripe
$ go get github.com/stripe/stripe-go/v76
$ nuget install Stripe.net
SHOW
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