AWS accused of scanning Android app in secret key hunt

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Amazon Web Services has been accused of decompiling Android apps to search for secret keys that have been mistakenly hard-coded.

The accusation comes after software developer Raj Bala revealed he had been contacted by AWS advising him to remove his AWS credentials from within an Android application he had developed.

The credentials had as a result become publicly available, as had his AWS Key ID and Secret Key.

"We were recently made aware that an Android application published in the Google Play store contains credentials associated with your AWS account; making those credentials publicly available," AWS told Bala according to his blog, as first reported by The Register.

"This exposure of your AWS credentials within a publicly available Android application could lead to unauthorised use of AWS services, associated excessive charges for your AWS account, and potentially unauthorised access to your data or the data of your application’s users."

He was "strongly" encouraged to invalidate the now publicly-exposed credentials, and use temporary security credentials within applications in the future.

"To help protect our customers, we operate continuous fraud monitoring processes and alert customers if we find unusual activity," AWS told iTnews.

Last week, iTnews reported thousands of AWS secret keys were posted on GitHub, which led to some developers being hit with unexpected bills after unauthorised activity on their accounts. However, AWS refunded the charges.

Update: AWS was alerted to the keys in Bala's code by a third party.

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