Temp Mail, a popular provider of disposable email services, recently faced a serious security issue when its systems were left publicly open for over three months. This vulnerability posed a significant risk of potential breaches and the spread of large-scale malware.

Temp Mail is widely used as a disposable email service with over 10 million app installations on Android alone. However, a critical misconfiguration leads to the exposure of sensitive data.

The misconfiguration involved a publicly accessible environment file (.env) that contained the company’s sensitive credentials. This exposure could have allowed threat actors to gain unauthorized access to internal systems, manipulate or delete crucial data, impersonate the company to spread malware and hijack official communication channels.

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Temp Mail operates as a free service that provides users with temporary email addresses that self-destruct after a certain period. This feature makes it a popular choice for individuals looking to avoid spam and protect their email addresses from being disclosed when registering on various websites, blogs, and forums.

The recently discovered misconfiguration could allow malicious actors to exploit Temp Mail’s internal systems, compromising sensitive data, launching widespread malware campaigns, and targeting the platform’s users. The gravity of the situation is underscored by the fact that Temp Mail’s Android app alone has over 10 million installations.

A publicly accessible environment file (.env) has been open since December 30th, 2022, as identified by IoT search engines.

The exposed .env file contained API keys for Temp Mail’s internal services. While the specific vulnerable internal services are unknown, the exposure of these keys was highly hazardous. It could have allowed malicious actors to breach the internal systems of the email service and manipulate or delete critical information.

The leaked data also included secrets used for Amazon Web Services (AWS) authentication. AWS is a widely used cloud platform that forms the backbone of many companies’ digital infrastructures. Unauthorized access to AWS can lead to service disruptions, data breaches, and significant financial losses due to fraud.

Furthermore, the leaked information encompassed Google Firebase credentials. Firebase is a comprehensive suite of cloud computing services and application development platforms provided by Google. Unauthorized access to Firebase could result in data manipulation, service disruptions, and severe privacy breaches.

In addition to the sensitive data mentioned above, the environment file also exposed the private keys of the Android and iOS App Store issuers. These keys serve as authentication measures to ensure the legitimacy of applications before their distribution on the respective app stores. If malicious actors obtained these keys, they could exploit them to release harmful updates or create fraudulent applications, enabling the widespread dissemination of malware and posing a significant threat to users.

Another critical risk stemmed from the exposed SendGrid API keys. SendGrid is a cloud-based Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) provider used for sending emails without maintaining email servers and related services. The compromised keys could enable malicious actors to hijack Temp Mail’s communication channel and engage in spamming, sending nasty emails, or conducting phishing attempts. Such actions would severely damage Temp Mail’s reputation and potentially harm its users.

To address the issue, Temp Mail acknowledged that the leak was caused by one of their developers in the development environment. They promptly removed the .env file from public access and committed to changing the exposed security keys.

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