Cloud Middleware Dataset

The Cloud Middleware Dataset is an open-source project hosted on GitHub. It aims to provide visibility into the middleware installed by major cloud service providers like Azure, AWS, and GCP. The project highlights the potential security risks of these middleware installations, often done without the customer's explicit consent.

The Problem with Cloud Middleware

Cloud service providers often install proprietary software on customer virtual machines without their explicit awareness or consent. This software bridges the gap between the customer's virtual machines and the cloud provider's managed services. However, it often introduces a new potential attack surface that customers are unaware of. When vulnerabilities are discovered in this middleware, customers are left exposed, and it's not always clear whose responsibility it is to update the software.

Field Explanations

The dataset provides several fields for each middleware:

  • Cloud Provider: AWS, GCP, or Azure
  • Cloud Services: List of services that install the agent
  • Past Vulnerabilities: List of past vulnerabilities found in the agent
  • Attack Surface: Text explanation of the potential attack surface
  • Open Source: Whether the source is publicly accessible
  • Operating System: Supported operating systems

Examples from the Dataset

Azure's Open Management Infrastructure (OMI)

  • Cloud Services: Azure Automation State Configuration, Extension Log Analytics, etc.
  • Past Vulnerabilities: CVE-2021-38645, CVE-2021-38647, etc.
  • Attack Surface: Runs at high privileges (root), exposes a remote attack surface
  • Open Source: GitHub Link
  • Operating System: Linux

AWS Systems Manager Agent (SSM Agent)

  • Cloud Services: Pre-built in Amazon virtual machine images
  • Past Vulnerabilities: CVE-2022-29527
  • Attack Surface: Runs at high privileges
  • Open Source: GitHub Link
  • Operating System: Windows, Linux, macOS


The Cloud Middleware Dataset project is a valuable resource for anyone using cloud services. It offers a comprehensive list of middleware agents, their associated risks, and other vital information. This dataset empowers cloud customers to make informed decisions and take necessary precautions.

Thought-Provoking Questions

1. Who Bears the Responsibility?

If a vulnerability is discovered in a middleware software, whose responsibility is it to update the software?

2. The Trade-off Between Convenience and Security

Is the convenience provided by these middleware agents worth the potential security risks?

3. Open Source vs. Proprietary Middleware

Does using open-source middleware offer more security and transparency compared to proprietary ones?

For more details, you can visit the Cloud Middleware Dataset GitHub Repository.