đź“… Webinar - Delivering Security on Your Terms: An Intro to Self-Hosted

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đź“… Webinar - Delivering Security on Your Terms: An Intro to Self-Hosted

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My PubNub Subscribe Key leaked! What should I do?

What is a PubNub Subscribe Key and how it is used?

The PubNub Subscribe Key is a unique identifier used to authenticate and authorize access to subscribe to PubNub channels, allowing developers to securely receive real-time data streams.

When it comes to PubNub Subscribe Key, developers should understand its main use cases:

  • Authenticate and authorize clients to subscribe to real-time data streams from PubNub.
  • Enable secure communication between clients and PubNub channels for receiving messages and updates.
  • Facilitate the implementation of real-time features in applications, such as chat, notifications, and live updates.

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1. Code snippets to prevent PubNub Subscribe Key hardcoding using environment variables

Using environment variables for storing sensitive information like PubNub Subscribe Key in your code is a secure practice for the following reasons:

  • Environment variables are not stored directly in your codebase, reducing the risk of accidental exposure through version control systems or code sharing platforms.
  • Environment variables are stored outside of the codebase and are typically not accessible to unauthorized users or external parties.
  • Environment variables can be managed and updated independently of the code, making it easier to rotate keys and maintain security.
  • Environment variables are specific to the environment in which the code is running, providing an additional layer of security by keeping sensitive information separate from the code logic.

How to secure your secrets using environment variables

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2. Code snippet to prevent PubNub Subscribe Key hardcoding using AWS Secrets Manager

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

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3. Code snippet to prevent PubNub Subscribe Key hardcoding using HashiCorp Vault

Using HashiCorp Vault for managing PubNub Subscribe Keys is a great way to enhance security. Here are code snippets in five different programming languages for securely handling a PubNub Subscribe 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 PubNub Subscribe 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 PubNub Subscribe Key hardcoding using CyberArk Conjur

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

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How to generate a PubNub Subscribe Key?

To generate a PubNub Subscribe Key, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your PubNub account.
  2. Click on the "Create New App" button.
  3. Enter the required information for your new app, such as the app name and description.
  4. Once the app is created, navigate to the app dashboard.
  5. Under the "Keys" section, you will find your Subscribe Key along with your Publish Key.
  6. Copy the Subscribe Key and use it in your PubNub application to subscribe to channels and receive messages.

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My PubNub Subscribe Key leaked, what are the possible reasons?

There are several reasons why a PubNub Subscribe Key might have been leaked:

  • 1. Insecure storage: If the Subscribe Key is stored in a plaintext configuration file or hardcoded in the code, it can be easily accessed by unauthorized parties.
  • 2. Vulnerable code repositories: If the Subscribe Key is accidentally included in a code repository that is public or shared with unauthorized users, it can be leaked.
  • 3. Misconfigured access controls: If access controls are not properly configured, it may allow unauthorized users to access and retrieve the Subscribe Key.
  • 4. Social engineering attacks: If developers are tricked into revealing the Subscribe Key through phishing emails or other social engineering tactics, it can lead to a leak.

What are the risks of leaking a PubNub Subscribe Key

As a security trainer, it's important to educate developers on the risks associated with leaking a PubNub Subscribe Key. The PubNub Subscribe Key is a sensitive piece of information that, if exposed, can lead to serious security vulnerabilities. Here are some specific risks of leaking a PubNub Subscribe Key:

  • Unauthorized access to data: If an attacker gains access to a PubNub Subscribe Key, they can potentially eavesdrop on sensitive data being transmitted over PubNub channels.
  • Data manipulation: With a leaked Subscribe Key, an attacker could potentially modify the data being transmitted, leading to data integrity issues.
  • Service disruption: An attacker with access to a Subscribe Key could disrupt the service by subscribing to channels, consuming resources, and causing denial of service attacks.
  • Reputation damage: A security breach due to a leaked Subscribe Key can damage the reputation of the organization and erode trust with customers.

It's crucial for developers to understand the importance of keeping PubNub Subscribe Keys secure and implementing best practices for secret management to prevent such risks from materializing.

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PubNub Subscribe Key security best practices

  • Avoid embedding the secret directly in your code. Instead, use environment variables or secrets managers‍
  • Secure storage: store the PubNub Subscribe 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 PubNub Subscribe Key usage and improve the overall security of your PubNub Subscribe Key implementations.

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

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PubNub Subscribe 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 PubNub Subscribe Key was used by malicious actors

  • Review Access Logs: Check the access logs of your PubNub Subscribe 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 PubNub Subscribe Key. This can give insights into any unauthorized use of your key.

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Steps to revoke the PubNub Subscribe Key

Generate a new PubNub Subscribe Key:

  • Log into your PubNub Subscribe 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 PubNub Subscribe 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 PubNub Subscribe 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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