How ShadowMap received entry into the worlds quickest rising cellular utility

Aarogya Setu is the quickest rising cellular utility on this planet and now claims over 150,000,000 customers on the platform in the present day.

That is the story of how ShadowMap found the source-code for the Aarogya Setu platform together with its back-end infrastructure being uncovered on the general public web. Moreover, some insights and professional evaluation from the by accident printed supply code.

Background & Bug Bounty Program

Aarogya Setu, India’s nationwide platform for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, consists of contact tracing, self evaluation chat bots, standing updates, e-pass administration, and so on. Though not formally introduced but, in addition they appear to be introducing new APIs for third get together integrations and QR code-based monitoring options which have already been launched into manufacturing.

Aarogya Setu – Developer API – Requesting Permission

With the non-public information, real-time location and well being particulars of over 150 million Indians on the road, privateness advocates and safety researchers have repeatedly raised considerations across the platform.

In an try to handle a few of these considerations, the Aarogya Setu crew open-sourced a restricted a part of its Android Platform and introduced the Aarogya Setu Bug Bounty program in a press launch on the 26th of Might. The crew additionally dedicated to releasing the source-code for the iOS & KaiOS purposes together with the backend infrastructure shortly after; nevertheless, there was no replace since.

The Android source-code launched on Github as a part of the bug bounty program has not been up to date since 29th Might and is for model 1.2.2 whereas the Google Play Retailer comprises the newest launch of model 1.4.1 launched on the eighth of July.

ShadowMap Monitoring – Discovering the Repository

As a part of our ShadowMap Digital Threat Administration Platform, we repeatedly scan the whole web to trace all public exposures, information leaks, leaked credentials, darkish net information breaches amongst many extra areas. The platform helps our prospects quickly detect and mitigate dangers which will impression their organisations.

As a part of an inner analysis undertaking, we’re engaged on producing a whole ShadowMap Report for all domains to assist CERT-In establish and mitigate key dangers, information leaks, compromises, and so on throughout a variety of Indian Authorities belongings.

On the 23rd of June, whereas analysing the information from this scan, we observed that one of many Aarogya Setu servers had been not too long ago up to date and considered one of its builders had by accident printed their Git folder into the general public webroot, together with the plain-text person title and password particulars for the official Aarogya Setu GitHub account.

Aarogya Setu Github Credential Leak

Aarogya Setu Github Credential Leak

Public GIT Repository & DevSecOps

On making an attempt to entry the person account on the Github web site, we have been met with a two-factor authentication immediate. Nevertheless, simply that final week our crew at Safety Brigade had efficiently accomplished a Crimson-Workforce Evaluation for a startup in Bangalore and found that by leveraging the Github API, we might bypass the 2FA verify and straight entry the checklist of repositories throughout the account.

A couple of minutes later, we had a listing of 10 repositories and have been in a position to obtain the supply code for the Aarogya Setu web site, Swaraksha portal, back-end APIs, web-services, inner analytics / correlation code, SQS Handler, OTP Service, and so on.

The underlying safety concern of the Git folder being printed to the general public web is an especially widespread drawback that ShadowMap discovers at a whole lot of hundreds of organisations on daily basis. Nevertheless, the presence of such a safety concern is a robust indicator that applicable DevSecOps practices aren’t in use. Extra so the password being onerous coded into the GIT configuration file signifies an absence of safety consciousness and controls.

Aarogya Setu Source Code Repositories

Aarogya Setu Supply Code Repositories

All of those particulars have been shared with senior members of the NIC, NIC CERT & key stakeholders from the Aarogya Setu crew. Nevertheless, we didn’t obtain any acknowledgement or response from them. The difficulty was silently fastened the subsequent day.

On the fifth of June 2020, ShadowMap additionally recognized the source-code for the KaiOS model of the platform and another smaller modules uncovered on OpenForge. This concern was additionally silently fastened in a couple of days and never acknowledged.

Contained in the Aarogya Setu Supply-Code

Over the previous couple of days, I’ve spent a while operating by means of the source-code to higher perceive the know-how in place and a few of the safety measures which have been constructed into the code. Based mostly on that evaluation, I’m highlighting some areas of concern.

Involvement of Non-public Organisations in Growth & Administration of the Platform

Based mostly on the information accessible on Github and by trying by means of the code itself, it’s clear that a number of personal organisations are closely concerned within the improvement and administration of the Aarogya Setu platform. Whereas the personal partnership is a key issue within the fast improvement and deployment of the platform, it raises critical questions across the skill for people, and even these personal organisations, to entry the huge quantity of non-public information—of 150 million Indians.

Aarogya Setu Using GoIbibo Servers

Aarogya Setu Utilizing GoIbibo Servers

Extra importantly, the strains between these personal organisations and Aarogya Setu infrastructure are blurry at finest. In some instances, we discovered personal domains, sub-domains and servers getting used to host code & information from the Aarogya Setu infrastructure. A lot of the builders engaged on the platform, appear to be doing so utilizing personal Github accounts, personal e mail accounts, and so on.

AWS & Google Cloud Infrastructure

The platform is constructed largely on Amazon AWS infrastructure and leverages numerous business recognised platforms, which embrace AWS EC2, Firebase, Dynamo, Lambda, S3 buckets, Redshift, SQS, Elastic Search, Cognito IDP, Google Firebase, and so on.

Nevertheless, contemplating the variety of personal builders and organisations concerned, and the general public nature of important infrastructure and platforms, the information saved inside these platforms is at important danger of theft or abuse. Most of those personal builders appear to have entry to keys and credentials required to remotely entry and modify any and all information saved throughout the Aarogya Setu platform.

Secret & Credential Administration

Though a big a part of the embedded secrets and techniques are saved in setting variables, we did discover a number of secrets and techniques corresponding to encryption tokens, passwords, and so on hardcoded throughout the source-code itself.

Aarogya Setu – Hardcoded Credentials

Aarogya Setu – Hardcoded Credentials

One important failure that highlights the dangers related to the Cloud Infrastructure talked about above: The Aarogya Setu crew appears to have dedicated their manufacturing Google Firebase Service Account Non-public Keys into the repository. Extra so, almost 45 days since this disclosure, the keys have but to be revoked or modified and are nonetheless energetic.

Based mostly on my assessment of the source-code, Google Firebase appears to be used to retailer data associated to customers, together with the delicate DID mapping, person standing and different particulars.

Within the curiosity of knowledge privateness, we didn’t actively attempt to use the Firebase keys to entry person information. Nevertheless, we did affirm that it was potential to make use of the Firebase keys to generate entry tokens that may in flip be used to learn, write, replace & delete information saved in Firebase.


Though there are various extra safety points and considerations that we’ve got observed, the bigger drawback we must be speaking about is the shortage of transparency, third get together evaluation, audit trails, and so on.

In a single phrase, we want Accountability.

Want for an Unbiased Safety Audits

Each single Authorities web site, whether or not its the Authorities e-Market or the Canteen Shops Division, must undergo a periodic safety certification by a CERT-In Empanelled Safety Auditor as per the CERT-In Safety Pointers.

As of date, the Aarogya Setu platform doesn’t appear to have undergone any such safety assessments. Third get together safety assessments play a important position in making certain that an applicable maker-checker steadiness is maintained between the groups chargeable for constructing the platforms and auditors chargeable for validating and certifying safety & privateness targets.

Whereas most of us can agree that the Covid-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented scenario and there was a justifiable want quickly transfer ahead and deploy the Aarogya Setu platform, we now stand at over Four months for the reason that preliminary launch—and its about time safety and privateness debt is paid.

The Aarogya Setu platform places an unimaginable quantity of knowledge on the fingertips of a number of Authorities Establishments, Non-public Organisations and People – with almost no accountability and no transparency.

Beneath the present geo-political scenario, with politically motivated cyber threats rising exponentially, can we proceed ignoring safety measures and justify placing the cell phones and information of 10% of our complete inhabitants in danger?

What I want to see going ahead

  • Full Aarogya Setu platform open-sourced, together with the manufacturing repositories, launch administration instruments, bug trackers, and so on. (The European Fee units an ideal instance of how this may be performed. Their Github, Jenkins, and so on are all publicly accessible)
  • Common complete safety assessments by third-party safety auditors masking the source-code, infrastructure, folks and processes. Change auditors with every evaluation and make the studies accessible for public scrutiny.
  • Extra transparency within the bug bounty program. All concluded disclosures and studies have to be made public.
  • Third get together monitoring company to trace logs, audit trails and monitor the platform for information abuse by attackers, personal organisations concerned, builders and different companies with API entry and so on.
  • Implementation of a robust CI/CD platform with built-in DevSecOps practices.
  • Steady monitoring of the Aarogya Setu infrastructure with a Digital Threat Administration platform to quickly detect and reply to information leaks, breaches and different safety points.
  • Higher safer credential / secret administration system deployed
  • Transparency – As my third grade math instructor stored telling me, present your work.

Cross-posted with permission from ShadowMap. Authentic submit could be discovered right here.

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