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My Zendesk Token leaked! What should I do?

What is a Zendesk Token and how it is used?

A Zendesk Token is a unique authentication key used to securely access and interact with Zendesk's API for various purposes such as integration and automation.

When it comes to the Zendesk Token, developers should understand its main use cases:

  • Authentication: Zendesk Tokens are commonly used for authenticating and authorizing requests made to Zendesk APIs. Developers can generate and use tokens to securely access Zendesk resources without exposing sensitive credentials.
  • Integration: Zendesk Tokens are essential for integrating Zendesk with other applications and services. By using tokens, developers can establish a secure connection between Zendesk and external systems, enabling data exchange and automation.
  • Security: Zendesk Tokens play a crucial role in enhancing the security of Zendesk instances. By properly managing and protecting tokens, developers can prevent unauthorized access to Zendesk data and maintain the confidentiality and integrity of customer information.

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1. Code snippets to prevent Zendesk Token hardcoding using environment variables

Using environment variables for storing sensitive information like Zendesk Tokens in your code is a secure practice because:

  • Environment variables are not hard-coded in the codebase, reducing the risk of exposure in case of a code leak or repository compromise.
  • Environment variables are stored outside of the codebase, making it harder for attackers to access them directly.
  • Environment variables can be managed separately from the code, allowing for easy rotation and updates without changing the code itself.
  • Access to environment variables can be restricted based on user permissions, adding an extra layer of security.

How to secure your secrets using environment variables

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2. Code snippet to prevent Zendesk Token hardcoding using AWS Secrets Manager

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

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3. Code snippet to prevent Zendesk Token hardcoding using HashiCorp Vault

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

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

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How to generate a Zendesk Token?

To generate a Zendesk token, developers can follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Zendesk account.
  2. Go to the "Admin" icon in the sidebar and select "API" under the Channels section.
  3. Click on the "Settings" tab and then select "Token Access".
  4. Click on the "Add Token" button to create a new token.
  5. Enter a name for your token and select the permissions you want to grant.
  6. Click on the "Save" button to generate the token.

After generating the token, developers can use it to authenticate API requests to Zendesk.

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My Zendesk Token leaked, what are the possible reasons?

There are several reasons why a Zendesk Token might have been leaked:

  • Improper storage: Storing the token in plain text in code repositories or configuration files that are accessible to unauthorized users.
  • Weak access controls: Allowing too many individuals or systems to have access to the token, increasing the likelihood of it being leaked.
  • Insufficient encryption: If the token is not properly encrypted or hashed, it can be easily intercepted and decoded by malicious actors.
  • Phishing attacks: Social engineering attacks can trick individuals into revealing their Zendesk token unknowingly.
  • Third-party vulnerabilities: If a third-party service or tool that interacts with Zendesk is compromised, it can lead to the leakage of the token.

What are the risks of leaking a Zendesk Token

Developers must understand the risks associated with leaking a Zendesk Token, as it can lead to serious security vulnerabilities. Here are some specific risks:

  • Unauthorized Access: If a Zendesk Token is leaked, unauthorized individuals may gain access to sensitive information stored in Zendesk, such as customer data or support tickets.
  • Data Breaches: Leaking a Zendesk Token can potentially lead to data breaches, where confidential information is exposed to malicious actors, resulting in financial loss and damage to reputation.
  • Account Takeover: An attacker with access to a Zendesk Token can potentially take over a Zendesk account, impersonate legitimate users, and perform malicious actions on behalf of the compromised account.
  • Compromised Integration: If a Zendesk Token is leaked, any integrations or applications that rely on the token for authentication may also be compromised, leading to further security issues.

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Zendesk Token security best practices

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

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

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Zendesk Token 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 Zendesk Token was used by malicious actors

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

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Steps to revoke the Zendesk Token

Generate a new Zendesk Token:

  • Log into your Zendesk Token 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 Zendesk Token:

  • 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 Zendesk Token.
  • 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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