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Cybersecurity Threat Advisory: AWS ‘FlowFixation’ vulnerability

Cybersecurity Threat Advisory: AWS ‘FlowFixation’ vulnerability

Cybersecurity Threat Advisory

Cybersecurity Threat AdvisoryThe AWS “FlowFixation” vulnerability, while patched in September 2023, may still pose account hijacking risks within its Amazon Managed Workflows Apache Airflow (MWAA) service. Read this Cybersecurity Threat Advisory to learn the impact and security measures to mitigate risks associated with this vulnerability.

What is the threat?

The FlowFixation flaw in AWS Managed Workflows for Apache Airflow could have allowed attackers to hijack accounts if paired with a misconfiguration. The attack comes from a session fixation issue in the MWAA web management panel combined with an AWS domain misconfiguration, creating risks of cross-site scripting threats. Bad actors can exploit this flow to gain unauthorized access to user accounts in Amazon Managed Workflows Apache Airflow without any user involvement. Upon a successful exploitation, attackers can manipulate users into using the attacker’s session to take over the victim’s web management panel.

Why is it noteworthy?

This vulnerability is noteworthy as it can lead to account hijacking and provide unauthorized access to sensitive AWS resources. Given the adoption of AWS services across various industries, the exploitation of this vulnerability could have severe consequences, including data breaches and financial loss.

What is the exposure or risk?

The “FlowFixation” vulnerability exposes organizations to the risk of account hijacking and unauthorized access to AWS resources. Exploitation of this vulnerability could result in data breaches, financial loss, and reputational damage. The potential for unauthorized activities within the AWS environment could lead to organizational resilience and business operations disruption.

What are the recommendations?

Barracuda MSP recommends the following preventative steps to minimize the risks and strengthen the security posture:

  1. Apply AWS security updates – Apply the latest security updates provided by AWS to all affected components, including the Amazon Managed Workflows for Apache Airflow (MWAA) service.
  2. Implement Web Application Firewalls (WAF) – Deploy a WAF to protect against common web-based attacks. Configure the WAF to inspect and filter incoming HTTP requests, blocking any malicious traffic attempting to exploit the FlowFixation vulnerability.
  3. Enable session management controls – Implement robust session management controls within the MWAA web management panel to mitigate the risk of session fixation attacks.
  4. Deploy Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (IDPS) – Use IDPS to monitor network traffic and detect anomalous behavior indicative of attempted exploitation. Configure the IDPS to analyze network packets in real-time to identify and block suspicious traffic patterns associated with potential attacks.
  5. Enforce least privilege access controls – Restrict user permissions to those necessary to perform their designated responsibilities. Regularly review and update access policies.
  6. Conduct regular security audits and assessments – Use automated scanning tools and manual penetration testing to evaluate the effectiveness of security controls.
  7. Implement strong authentication mechanisms – Mandate the use of multi-factor authentication (MFA) for AWS accounts and services access.
  8. Monitor AWS CloudTrail Logs – Capture and monitor detailed logs of API activity and user actions within the AWS environment.
  9. Engage with AWS Support and Security Community – Stay informed to the mitigation strategies provided by AWS and the broader security community.


Refer to the link below for more information about this threat:

If you have any questions regarding this Cybersecurity Threat Advisory, please contact Barracuda XDR’s Security Operations Center.

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