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

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My Terraform Variable Secret leaked! What should I do?

What is a Terraform Variable Secret and how it is used?

A Terraform Variable Secret is a sensitive piece of information, such as passwords, API keys, or tokens, that is stored securely and accessed through Terraform variables to maintain confidentiality and prevent exposure.

When it comes to Terraform Variable Secrets, there are three main use cases to consider:

  • Securely storing sensitive information such as API keys, passwords, and tokens without exposing them in plain text within Terraform configuration files.
  • Facilitating collaboration among team members by allowing them to share Terraform configurations without sharing sensitive information.
  • Enabling easy management and rotation of secrets by centralizing them in a secure storage solution, such as a key management service or a secrets management tool.

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1. Code snippets to prevent Terraform Variable Secret hardcoding using environment variables

Using environment variables for Terraform Variable Secrets is a secure practice for several reasons:

  • Environment variables are stored outside of the codebase, reducing the risk of exposure through version control systems.
  • They can be managed and protected at the operating system level, adding an extra layer of security.
  • Environment variables can be easily rotated and updated without modifying the code, making it easier to maintain security.

How to secure your secrets using environment variables

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2. Code snippet to prevent Terraform Variable Secret hardcoding using AWS Secrets Manager

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

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3. Code snippet to prevent Terraform Variable Secret hardcoding using HashiCorp Vault

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

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

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How to generate a Terraform Variable Secret?

When working with Terraform, it is important to securely manage sensitive information such as passwords, API keys, and other secrets. One way to handle this is by using Terraform variables to store and access these secrets.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to generate a Terraform variable secret:

  1. Create a new Terraform variable file, for example, variables.tf.
  2. Define a new variable for the secret, for example:
  3. variable "my_secret" {
      type        = string
      description = "My secret value"
    }
  4. Instead of hardcoding the secret value directly in the variable definition, you can use a separate file to store the secret value. For example, create a file named secrets.auto.tfvars and define the secret variable there:
  5. my_secret = "my_secret_value_here"
  6. Make sure to add secrets.auto.tfvars to your .gitignore file to avoid accidentally committing the secret to your version control system.
  7. When running Terraform commands, make sure to load the secret variable from the secrets.auto.tfvars file by using the -var-file flag. For example:
  8. terraform plan -var-file=secrets.auto.tfvars

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My Terraform Variable Secret leaked, what are the possible reasons?

There are several reasons why a Terraform Variable Secret might have been leaked:

  • Improper handling of sensitive data: If developers do not follow best practices for storing and managing secrets, such as storing them in plaintext in Terraform configuration files or version control systems, the secrets can easily be exposed.
  • Weak access controls: Inadequate access controls on repositories or infrastructure resources can lead to unauthorized access to sensitive data, including Terraform Variable Secrets.
  • Human error: Mistakes such as accidentally including secrets in log files, sharing them in public forums, or misconfiguring permissions can result in the leakage of Terraform Variable Secrets.
  • Third-party integrations: Integrations with external services or tools that do not have robust security measures in place can also pose a risk of exposing Terraform Variable Secrets.

What are the risks of leaking a Terraform Variable Secret

When it comes to Terraform Variable Secrets, it is crucial for developers to understand the risks associated with leaking such sensitive information. Here are some specific risks to be aware of:

  • Unauthorized Access: Leaking a Terraform Variable Secret can lead to unauthorized access to critical resources and data, potentially compromising the security of your infrastructure.
  • Data Breaches: If a Terraform Variable Secret is exposed, it can result in a data breach, exposing sensitive information to malicious actors who can exploit it for malicious purposes.
  • Compliance Violations: Failure to protect Terraform Variable Secrets can result in compliance violations with regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, or PCI DSS, leading to legal consequences and financial penalties.
  • Reputational Damage: A security incident resulting from leaked Terraform Variable Secrets can damage the reputation of your organization, eroding trust with customers and partners.

It is essential for developers to implement robust secret management practices and regularly audit their codebase for any inadvertent leaks of sensitive information, including Terraform Variable Secrets.

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Terraform Variable Secret security best practices

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

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

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Terraform Variable Secret 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 Terraform Variable Secret was used by malicious actors

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

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Steps to revoke the Terraform Variable Secret

Generate a new Terraform Variable Secret:

  • Log into your Terraform Variable Secret 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 Terraform Variable Secret:

  • 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 Terraform Variable Secret.
  • 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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