New Azure exploit could let hackers create a ‘skeleton key’

The cybersecurity firm Varonis has discovered that an attacker can use a compromised on-premises IT environment to pivot and attack an organization’s Azure environment.Using a compromised PC as a stepping stone to move across a network to hack other targets is a tactic that cybercriminals frequently employ and security researcher at Varonis, Eric Saraga found that it was possible to manipulate an on-premises server known as an Azure agent to establish a backdoor and obtain user credentials from the cloud.Saraga developed a proof-of-concept attack that exploits Azure’s pass-through authentication which installs an Azure agent on-premises that authenticates synced users from the cloud. This enabled him to create a form of ‘skeleton key’ password on an Azure agent.
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Using this skeleton key, an attacker could escalate privileges to global admin to gain access to an organization’s on-premises environment. This would allow the attacker to extract usernames and passwords from a company’s Azure environment.
Skeleton key
Thankfully Saraga’s exploit can be blocked by using multi-factor authentication to secure a company’s Azure accounts as well as by actively monitoring its Azure agent servers.This attack would also be difficult for cybercriminals to pull off as they would first need to hack into a corporate network.Another thing worth noting is the fact that this is an exploit as opposed to a vulnerability so Microsoft won’t be issuing a patch to fix it. The software giant responded to Varonis’ report, saying:“This report does not appear to identify a weakness in a Microsoft product or service that would enable an attacker to compromise the integrity, availability, or confidentiality of a Microsoft offering. For this issue, the attacker needs to compromise the machine first before they can take over the service.”Since a patch isn’t being developed, Saraga says that organizations should lock down their Azure environments by using multi-factor authentication to prevent falling victim to any potential attacks that leverage this exploit.
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Via The Daily Swig