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Over 30 Vulnerabilities Exposed in Google App Engine

Over 30 vulnerabilities that allow hackers to bypass critical security sandbox defenses were discovered in Google App Engine (GAE), according to The Hacker News. Security Explorations researchers identified the series of flaws in the Java environment of Google’s Platform as a Service.

Attackers can exploit the vulnerabilities to achieve a complete Java VM security sandbox escape, as well as to execute arbitrary code, the security experts discovered.

Over 30 Vulnerabilities Exposed in Google App EngineThe research team was able to bypass GAE’s whitelisting of JRE Classes, gaining access to full Java Runtime Environment. From the 22 Java VM security sandbox escape vulnerabilities, 17 were successfully exploited.

The security experts were also able to execute native code, issue arbitrary library/system calls and gain access to the files (binary/classes) comprising the JRE sandbox. They were also able to get DWARF information from binary files, PROTOBUF definitions from Java classes, and PROTOBUF definitions from binary files.

The company didn’t finish its research, as Google suspended the test GAE account.

“Unfortunately, we cannot complete our work due to the suspension of the ‘test’ GAE account that took place today,” Security Explorations CEO Adam Gowdiak. “Without any doubt this is an opsec failure on our end (this week we did poke a little bit more aggressively around the underlying OS sandbox / issued various system calls in order to learn more about the nature of the error code 202, the sandbox itself, etc.).”

GAE offers to run custom-built programs using a wide variety of popular languages and frameworks, including many built on the Java environment.

Security Explorations has already carried out Java research in the past. As Google is usually supportive with the research community, the company believes the tech giant will re-enable their GAE account and allow them to complete the research.

About the author


Bianca Stanescu, the fiercest warrior princess in the Bitdefender news palace, is a down-to-earth journalist, who's always on to a cybertrendy story. She's the industry news guru, who'll always keep a close eye on the AV movers and shakers and report their deeds from a fresh new perspective. Proud mother of one, she covers parental control topics, with a view to valiantly cutting a safe path for children through the Internet thicket. She likes to let words and facts speak for themselves.