Top Security issues with Lambda functions

AWS Lambda functions are a fundamental element of serverless computing across networks. In serverless architecture, the cloud provider manages the underlying infrastructure, including servers and scaling, while application developers focus on writing code for specific functions or tasks. Lambda functions are small code segments that can be executed in response to events such as data changes, user requests, or scheduled tasks. One of the primary advantages of using Lambda functions is that developers only pay for the time their code runs, which is more cost-effective than paying for a dedicated server or virtual machine. Additionally, the automatic scaling of Lambda functions makes it easier to handle unpredictable or fluctuating workloads. Lambda functions can be integrated with other AWS services such as Amazon S3, Amazon DynamoDB, and Amazon API Gateway to create complex and scalable applications. They can also be used to build microservices, which are small, independent components of an application that can be developed, deployed, and scaled independently. However, Lambda functions are also susceptible to security vulnerabilities. Here are ten critical issues that we have observed lately during our pen-testing:

  • Injection Attacks: Malicious inputs can be used to inject arbitrary code into Lambda functions.
  • Broken Access Controls: Weak or improper access controls can lead to unauthorized access to resources or data.
  • Insecure Storage of Secrets: Sensitive data or credentials stored insecurely within Lambda functions could be accessed by attackers.
  • Insecure Dependencies: Insecure or outdated dependencies can introduce vulnerabilities in Lambda functions.
  • Inadequate Authentication and Authorization: Weak authentication and authorization mechanisms can lead to unauthorized access to Lambda functions.
  • Improper Error Handling: Improper handling of errors in Lambda functions could leak sensitive information that could be exploited by attackers.
  • Insufficient Encryption: Lack of encryption can make data transmitted to or stored within Lambda functions vulnerable to interception and theft.
  • Lack of Monitoring and Logging: Without proper monitoring and logging, it can be difficult to detect and respond to security incidents.
  • Denial of Service Attacks: Malicious actors can use Lambda functions to perform Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.
  • Insider Threats: Malicious actors with legitimate access to Lambda functions can exploit vulnerabilities to steal data or perform unauthorized actions.