Gitpod flaw shows cloud-based development environments need security assessments

Researchers from cloud security firm Snyk recently discovered a vulnerability that would have allowed attackers to perform full account takeover and remote code execution (RCE) in Gitpod, a popular cloud development environment (CDE). Cloud-based development environments are popular because they’re easier to deploy and maintain than local ones and promise better security. However, organizations should properly assess security risks CDEs can introduce and are unique to their architectures, especially since they haven’t received much scrutiny from the security community.

“Many questions remain unanswered with the adoption of cloud-based development environments: What happens if a cloud IDE workspace is infected with malware? What happens when access controls are insufficient and allow cross-user or even cross-organization access to workspaces? What happens when a rogue developer exfiltrates company intellectual property from a cloud-hosted machine outside the visibility of the organization’s data loss prevention or endpoint security software?,” the Snyk researchers said in their report, which is part of a larger project to investigate the security of CDEs.

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