Researchers at Singapore-based cybersecurity firm CloudSEK have found 1,550 mobile applications leaking the Algolia API key & Application ID, potentially exposing sensitive user data.
Algolia’s API lets developers quickly implement search within websites and mobile apps. The solution is currently used by over 11,000 companies to manage over a trillion search queries a year.
Out of 1,550 apps 32 were found to have critical Admin secrets hardcoded, and so far 57 unique admin keys have been identified. The list of leaky apps includes shopping apps, news, food and drink, education, entertainment, health and style, medical and business apps, with over 3 million collective downloads.
The admin API key can be used to access different pre-defined Algolia API keys including search-only API key, monitoring API key, usage API key, and analytics API keys. This access could be used by threat actors to read, modify and delete users’ information; access users’ IP addresses, or view app usage and other analytics.
“While this is not a flaw in Algolia or other such services that provide integrations, it is evidence of how API keys are mishandled by app developers. So, it is up to individual companies to address the security concerns associated with payment gateways, AWS services, open firebases, etc.,” the researchers said.
CloudSEK said it notified Algolia and the affected apps about the hardcoded API keys.