One of the questions I often get around our ClawBack data leak detection SaaS product is “What can a hacker get from a leaked config?”. I put together this quick post about three of the most common and powerful elements that we often find in leaked configurations we discover.
1) Credentials – Let’s face it, credentials are often the easiest way to leverage leaked configs. Sure, it might be for an edge router or some network gear, or maybe it’s for the VPN. Configs often contain sets of credentials, either in plain text or in hashed form. Hashes need to be cracked, sure, but that is often quite possible. Even when the credentials aren’t able to be used remotely, they often help us tune our password guesses and learn more about the policies and password requirements of other systems. You wouldn’t believe the number of times, though, that the credentials from a leaked config simply work across the network or enterprise and often at a significantly powerful level.
2) Encryption Keys – Leaked router, firewall or VPN device configurations often contain encryption keys. While these still require an attacker to be in a position to gather traffic, they are very useful to well resourced attackers with that capability. If you’re at the level of risk where you need to worry about nation-state or politically motivated attackers, you really don’t want to leak your encryption keys. In addition to simply being a significant issue going forward, leaking encryption keys is a “long tail” vulnerability, because it provides cryptanalysis capabilities to adversaries who might have historic traffic archived, that the leak makes possible for them to leverage. Thus, the life of the key becomes the window of vulnerability. This is especially true when static cryptographic protocols are in use.
3) Network Recon Data – From IP addresses to firewall rules and from SNMP strings to dynamic routing data, device configurations can provide a veritable treasure trove of recon data about your environment. Partner connections, vendors with remote access, interconnects with other environments and the general day to day operations of the computing systems can often be found in leaked configurations. Depending on the type and criticality of the device, the config can often give up a complete view of the guts of the organization.
That’s just the top 3. We’ve seen thousands of leaked configurations in our work on ClawBack and penetration testing. It’s no doubt that leaked configs are useful to the attacker. The big question is, if you had leaked configurations out in the world, would you know about it? Would you know how to hunt them down, claw them back and mitigate the damage? If not, or if the idea makes you nervous, give us a call. We’re happy to help you solve these problems. You can get in touch by calling 614-351-1237 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.