All Your Clouds are Belong to us – Security Analysis of Cloud Management Interfaces

Juraj Somorovsky, Mario Heiderich, Meiko Jensen, Jörg Schwenk, Nils Gruschka, Luigi Lo Iacono

In Proceedings of the ACM Cloud Computing Security Workshop (CCSW), 2011.


Cloud Computing resources are handled through control interfaces. It is through these interfaces that the new machine images can be added, existing ones can be modified, and instances can be started or ceased. Effectively, a successful attack on a Cloud control interface grants the attacker a complete power over the victim’s account, with all the stored data included.

In this paper, we provide a security analysis pertaining to the control interfaces of a large Public Cloud (Amazon) and a widely used Private Cloud software (Eucalyptus). Our research results are alarming: in regards to the Amazon EC2 and S3 services, the control interfaces could be compromised via the novel signature wrapping and advanced XSS techniques. Similarly, the Eucalyptus control interfaces were vulnerable to classical signature wrapping attacks, and had nearly no protection against XSS. As a follow up to those discoveries, we additionally describe the countermeasures against these attacks, as well as introduce a novel ”black box” analysis methodology for public Cloud interfaces.

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tags: Cloud Security, XML Signature Wrapping, XSS