Microsoft AI Researchers Accidentally Expose 38 Terabytes of Confidential Data

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Sep 19, 2023THNData Safety / Cybersecurity

Microsoft AI

Microsoft connected Monday said it took steps to close a glaring information gaffe that led to the vulnerability of 38 terabytes of backstage data.

The leak was discovered connected the company's AI GitHub repository and is said to person been inadvertently made nationalist erstwhile publishing a bucket of open-source grooming data, Wiz said. It besides included a disk backup of 2 erstwhile employees' workstations containing secrets, keys, passwords, and implicit 30,000 interior Teams messages.

The repository, named "robust-models-transfer," is nary longer accessible. Prior to its takedown, it featured root codification and instrumentality learning models pertaining to a 2020 probe paper titled "Do Adversarially Robust ImageNet Models Transfer Better?"

"The vulnerability came arsenic the effect of an overly permissive SAS token – an Azure diagnostic that allows users to stock information successful a mode that is some hard to way and hard to revoke," Wiz said successful a report. The contented was reported to Microsoft connected June 22, 2023.


Specifically, the repository's record instructed developers to download the models from an Azure Storage URL that accidentally besides granted entree to the full retention account, thereby exposing further backstage data.

"In summation to the overly permissive entree scope, the token was besides misconfigured to let "full control" permissions alternatively of read-only," Wiz researchers Hillai Ben-Sasson and Ronny Greenberg said. "Meaning, not lone could an attacker presumption each the files successful the retention account, but they could delete and overwrite existing files arsenic well."

Microsoft AI

In effect to the findings, Microsoft said its probe recovered nary grounds of unauthorized vulnerability of lawsuit information and that "no different interior services were enactment astatine hazard due to the fact that of this issue." It besides emphasized that customers request not instrumentality immoderate enactment connected their part.

The Windows makers further noted that it revoked the SAS token and blocked each outer entree to the retention account. The occupation was resolved 2 aft liable disclosure.

Microsoft AI

To mitigate specified risks going forward, the institution has expanded its secret scanning service to see immoderate SAS token that whitethorn person overly permissive expirations oregon privileges. It said it besides identified a bug successful its scanning strategy that flagged the circumstantial SAS URL successful the repository arsenic a mendacious positive.

"Due to the deficiency of information and governance implicit Account SAS tokens, they should beryllium considered arsenic delicate arsenic the relationship cardinal itself," the researchers said. "Therefore, it is highly recommended to debar utilizing Account SAS for outer sharing. Token instauration mistakes tin easy spell unnoticed and exposure delicate data."


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This is not the archetypal clip misconfigured Azure retention accounts person travel to light. In July 2022, JUMPSEC Labs highlighted a script successful which a menace histrion could instrumentality vantage of specified accounts to summation entree to an endeavor on-premise environment.

The improvement is the latest information blunder astatine Microsoft and comes astir 2 weeks aft the institution revealed that hackers based successful China were capable to infiltrate the company's systems and bargain a highly delicate signing cardinal by compromising an engineer's firm relationship and apt accessing an clang dump of the user signing system.

"AI unlocks immense imaginable for tech companies. However, arsenic information scientists and engineers contention to bring caller AI solutions to production, the monolithic amounts of information they grip necessitate further information checks and safeguards," Wiz CTO and co-founder Ami Luttwak said successful a statement.

"This emerging exertion requires ample sets of information to bid on. With galore improvement teams needing to manipulate monolithic amounts of data, stock it with their peers oregon collaborate connected nationalist open-source projects, cases similar Microsoft's are progressively hard to show and avoid."

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