Gartner®: Avoid Mobile Application Security Pitfalls

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Gartner®: Avoid Mobile Application Security Pitfalls

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My Putty Private Key leaked! What should I do?

What is a Putty Private Key and how it is used?

A Putty Private Key is a file used by the Putty SSH client to authenticate a user to a remote server securely. It contains the private key that corresponds to the public key stored on the server for authentication.

Putty Private Key is used for:

  • Authentication: The Putty Private Key is used to authenticate a user to a remote server or service without the need to enter a password. This enhances security by using cryptographic keys instead of relying on potentially weak passwords.
  • Secure Communication: The private key is used in conjunction with a public key to establish a secure communication channel, ensuring that data exchanged between the user and the server is encrypted and secure from eavesdropping or tampering.
  • Access Control: By using the Putty Private Key, developers can control access to sensitive systems or resources, allowing only authorized users with the corresponding private key to log in and perform actions, thereby reducing the risk of unauthorized access.

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1. Code snippets to prevent Putty Private Key hardcoding using environment variables

Using environment variables for storing Putty Private Keys in code is considered a secure practice for the following reasons:

  • Environment variables are stored outside of the codebase, reducing the risk of accidental exposure through version control systems or code sharing platforms.
  • Environment variables can be restricted to specific users or services, limiting access to sensitive information.
  • Environment variables are not typically displayed in logs or error messages, minimizing the chances of leaking sensitive data.
  • Environment variables can be easily rotated or updated without modifying the codebase, enhancing security maintenance practices.

How to secure your secrets using environment variables

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2. Code snippet to prevent Putty Private Key hardcoding using AWS Secrets Manager

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

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3. Code snippet to prevent Putty Private Key hardcoding using HashiCorp Vault

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

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

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How to generate a Putty Private Key?

To generate a Putty Private Key, follow these steps:

  1. Open Puttygen application.
  2. Click on the 'Generate' button to create a new key pair.
  3. Move your mouse randomly within the blank area to generate randomness for the key.
  4. Once the key pair is generated, you can set a passphrase to protect the private key.
  5. Click on 'Save private key' to save the private key file to your computer.

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My Putty Private Key leaked, what are the possible reasons?

There are several reasons why a Putty Private Key might have been leaked:

  • Improper storage: Storing the private key in a location that is accessible to unauthorized individuals can lead to a leak.
  • Sharing the key: Sharing the private key with others without proper security measures in place can result in a leak.
  • Weak password protection: Using a weak or easily guessable password to protect the private key can make it vulnerable to being leaked.
  • Malware or phishing attacks: If a developer's system is infected with malware or they fall victim to a phishing attack, the private key could be compromised.
  • Accidental exposure: Accidentally exposing the private key in code repositories, logs, or other public places can lead to a leak.

What are the risks of leaking a Putty Private Key

When it comes to the risks of leaking a Putty Private Key, developers must understand the potential consequences of such an action. Here are some specific risks associated with leaking a Putty Private Key:

  • Unauthorized access: If a Putty Private Key is leaked, unauthorized individuals may be able to gain access to sensitive systems or data that the key was intended to protect.
  • Data breaches: Leaking a Putty Private Key can lead to data breaches, resulting in the exposure of confidential information and potentially causing financial or reputational damage to the organization.
  • Compromised security: The leakage of a Putty Private Key can compromise the overall security of the system, making it vulnerable to attacks and exploitation by malicious actors.
  • Lack of trust: A leaked Putty Private Key can undermine the trust and credibility of the organization, leading to loss of business and damage to its reputation.
  • Legal implications: Depending on the nature of the leaked information and the regulations in place, there may be legal repercussions for the organization responsible for the leak.

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Putty Private Key security best practices

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

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

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Putty Private 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 Putty Private Key was used by malicious actors

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

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Steps to revoke the Putty Private Key

Generate a new Putty Private Key:

  • Log into your Putty Private 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 Putty Private 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 Putty Private 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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