Gartner®: Avoid Mobile Application Security Pitfalls

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Gartner®: Avoid Mobile Application Security Pitfalls

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My reCAPTCHA Key leaked! What should I do?

What is a reCAPTCHA Key and how it is used?

A reCAPTCHA Key is a unique set of characters provided by Google to authenticate and secure interactions on websites, helping to prevent automated abuse such as spam or unauthorized access.

When it comes to understanding the purpose of the reCAPTCHA Key, developers should keep in mind the following main use cases:

  • Preventing spam and abuse: The reCAPTCHA Key is used to verify that a user is not a bot or automated script attempting to submit malicious content or overload a system with fake requests.
  • Enhancing security: By implementing the reCAPTCHA Key, developers can add an additional layer of security to their applications, protecting sensitive information and preventing unauthorized access.
  • User authentication: The reCAPTCHA Key can also be used as a means of user authentication, ensuring that only legitimate users are able to access certain features or perform specific actions within an application.

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1. Code snippets to prevent reCAPTCHA Key hardcoding using environment variables

Using environment variables for storing sensitive information like reCAPTCHA keys is a secure practice because:

  • Environment variables are not hardcoded in the code, reducing the risk of accidental exposure in version control systems or public repositories.
  • Environment variables are stored outside of the codebase, making it more difficult for attackers to access them directly.
  • Environment variables can be easily managed and updated without the need to modify the code, improving the overall security posture of the application.

How to secure your secrets using environment variables

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

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

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3. Code snippet to prevent reCAPTCHA Key hardcoding using HashiCorp Vault

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

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

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How to generate a reCAPTCHA Key?

To generate a reCAPTCHA key for your website, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the reCAPTCHA website and sign in with your Google account.
  2. Register your website by providing the necessary information such as the domain name and type of reCAPTCHA you want to use (v2 or v3).
  3. After registration, you will receive a site key and a secret key that you will need to integrate into your website.
  4. Insert the site key into the HTML code of your website where you want the reCAPTCHA to appear.
  5. Store the secret key securely on your server and use it to verify reCAPTCHA responses on the backend.

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My reCAPTCHA Key leaked, what are the possible reasons?

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

  • Improper storage: If the key is stored in plain text in code repositories or configuration files, it can be easily accessed by unauthorized individuals.
  • Weak access controls: If the key is shared with developers who do not have a need to know or if it is not properly protected with access controls, it can be leaked.
  • Phishing attacks: Developers may fall victim to phishing attacks where they unknowingly provide their reCAPTCHA Key to malicious actors.
  • Compromised systems: If the systems where the key is stored are compromised, attackers can gain access to the key.

What are the risks of leaking a reCAPTCHA Key

When developers leak a reCAPTCHA Key, they are exposing their website to several risks:

  • Unauthorized Access: Hackers can use the leaked key to bypass the reCAPTCHA security measures and gain unauthorized access to the website.
  • Spam Attacks: The reCAPTCHA key is used to prevent spam and abuse on the website. If it is leaked, spammers can easily bypass the protection and flood the website with spam.
  • Data Breach: If the reCAPTCHA key is linked to sensitive user data, leaking it can lead to a data breach, compromising the privacy and security of users.
  • Reputation Damage: A security breach resulting from a leaked reCAPTCHA key can damage the reputation of the website and the developers responsible for its security.

It is crucial for developers to understand the importance of securely managing and protecting reCAPTCHA keys to prevent these risks and safeguard their website and users.

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reCAPTCHA Key security best practices

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

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

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reCAPTCHA 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 reCAPTCHA Key was used by malicious actors

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

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Steps to revoke the reCAPTCHA Key

Generate a new reCAPTCHA Key:

  • Log into your reCAPTCHA 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 reCAPTCHA 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 reCAPTCHA 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
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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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