Trump’s 2020 Reelection App Exposed Secrets, Keys
An analysis of the “Official Trump 2020” application revealed that keys to various parts of the app were being exposed to attacks, Website Planet reports.
The application, developed for President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, is available for download on both Android and iOS devices.
While investigating the app, Website Planet’s cybersecurity analysts Noam Rotem and Ran Locar discovered that the Android APK was exposing information such as Twitter application keys and secrets, Google apps and maps keys, and Branch.io (mobile analytics) keys.
The exposed keys, the analysts reveal, provided them with access to various parts of the application, but not to user accounts. According to them, an attacker would need two other keys, which were not being exposed, “to access any user account, including, potentially, President Trump’s.”
“We did not attempt to access any user accounts on the app, as we felt the initial vulnerability was sufficient to alert the Trump campaign,” Website Planet’s Mark Holden notes.
He also explains that a malicious hacker could still leverage the exposed keys to impersonate the application. The branch.io keys, for example, could provide hackers with potential access to app user and usage data.
The researchers alerted the campaign app’s team immediately after identifying the vulnerability and the damage it could cause. A patch was released within days.
The issue, Holden explains, is the result of human error and could have been avoided through following stricter protocols.
“Vulnerabilities of this kind can easily be prevented with the implementation of more robust security practices. The app should not have revealed such sensitive information. Simultaneously, any access keys should be secured, and secrets must never be exposed,” Holder points out.