Dev lashes out at Amazon for ‘decompiling’ his app


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Amazon’s crackdown on mishandling AWS credentials has upset one developer, who accuses the cloud giant of reverse-engineering an Android app for inspection.

In this post, Raj Bala says his app “uses our AWS as simple strings within the app itself”, and as a result, he’s received a notice from Amazon warning him against the practice.

Bala has removed the app name from Amazon’s notice, which states among other things, that the app was “not developed according to AWS recommended security best practices”, since Bala appears to “… have embedded your AWS Key ID (AKID) and its corresponding AWS Secret Key within the app”.

The rest of the note from Amazon provides instructions on its recommendations for using AWS credentials.

Bala, however, has a different bone to pick, complaining that the note is evidence that “Amazon or someone working with them is downloading apps from the Google Play Store and decompiling and/or otherwise inspecting them.”

It seems likely to The Register that Amazon is cracking down on where AWS credentials appear. As was reported at the Australian site ITNews last week, “thousands” of AWS secret keys have shown up in searches of github, leaving some developers with unexpected bills once the world at large realised that there were credentials hidden in plain sight.

While we’re sympathetic with Bala’s complaint about his software being decompiled without his permission, that’s not a capability restricted to Amazon. ®

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