30+ Vulnerabilities Found in Google App Engine – Security Firm Gets Kicked Off the Service

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Dec 8, 2014
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Over 30 vulnerabilities have been discovered in Google’s service as a platform offering, Google App Engine (GAE), that could enable criminal hackers to bypass critical safeguards. GAE is Google’s cloud computing platform for developing and hosting web applications offering to run custom programs using different languages and frameworks including Java environment. These vulnerabilities have largely been detected in the Java parts of the GAE.

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Google App Engine vulnerabilities:

Security Explorations reported these vulnerabilities in Google‘s Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering claiming that these flaws can be exploited by attackers to achieve a complete Java VM security sandbox escape along with executing arbitrary code.

While the team at Security Explorations couldn’t take their research to the finish line, they were able to detect some concerning loopholes.

  • Researchers were able to bypass Google App Engine whitelisting of JRE Classes and gain full access of Java Runtime Environment.
  • Out of 22 full Java VM security sandbox escape issuesanalysts were able to exploit 17 of them successfully.
  • They were also able to gain access to the files comprising of JRE sandbox as the team was able to execute native code.

Here is why Security Explorations got kicked off the service before they could complete their research:

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Unfortunately, we cannot complete our work due to the suspension of the “test” GAE account that took place today. Without any doubt this is an opsec failure on our end (this week we did poke a little bit more aggressively around the underlying OS sandbox / issued various system calls in order to learn more about the nature of the error code 202, the sandbox itself, etc.).s

Google has suspended their test Google App Engine account, however, security firm is hopeful that Google will re-enable their account allowing them to complete their research on Google App Engine account.

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