How CodeSpaces Was Killed by Security Issues on AWS. The Best Practices to Avoid it.

Amazon Web Services is the lead Cloud Computing provider in the public cloud market. Organizations are rapidly moving their applications to AWS Cloud because of the cost, elasticity, easily accessible and on-demand provisioning and many more features that Amazon introduced step-by-step during the last years.

The computing resources are available from anywhere in the world with a single click on the console or APIs or SDKs. Because of this easy accessibility security becomes a challenge for the Cloud Providers and as well as the Consumers.

Recently, an unauthorized person had gained access to the Code Spaces AWS console and completely deleted their computing resources, data, volumes, snapshots and configurations. Because of this Code Spaces shutdown their operations completely and issued a public notice to all their customers saying that “Code Spaces will not be able to operate beyond this point,” citing the price of resolving the issue, as well as the expected cost of refunding paying customers. This attack put the Code Spaces in an irreversible position both financially and in terms of ongoing credibility.

So in Public Cloud, security becomes a key component to secure your resources. Organizations should employ known security consultants and follow best practices to manage their cloud workloads effectively.

In this article, I am putting some of the best practices that everyone should apply immediately to their organizations AWS account and resources.

  • AWS Console is heavily used to manage the resources by Cloud Administrators and developers. It can be accessed via the browser HTTPS using simple username and password. To protect it further, AWS is supporting the Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for second level authentication. To login to AWS console, you have to use the integrated MFA code with the respective user account. This MFA code is dynamically generated by the MFA device:

 

MFA code that is dynamically generated by the MFA device
  • IAM Service allows you to assign the privileges using User Policies. Use the Policy Generator or Custom Policy to assign the privileges rather than using the predefined Policy Templates. Assign the least privileges to users and slowly grant the additional privileges as on when needed.

 

  • Use AWS IAM Policy Simulator to simulate and test the user privileges. This will help you to find whether issued policies are working properly or not.
IAM Policy Simulator
  • If you are using the AWS CLIs or any SDKs within the EC2 environment, launch the EC2 Instances with IAM roles rather than using the AWS Keys to access any of your AWS resources
  • Rotate all your users AWS Access Keys and Passwords periodically
  • Do not open the remote access protocols like SSH and RDP to the Public. Rather use a Bastion Server with MFA or VPN connectivity to reach any of the AWS resources.
  • Enable CloudTrail to log all your API calls via the Console, Command-line or SDKs, which will help you to identify who are accessing the AWS resources and their Identities.
  • Perform security audit periodically on all the AWS Services which is used by your organization and make sure you are following the best practices.
Trusted Advisor

We will cover more about the AWS security in future blog posts. Visit Cloud Academy’s Training Library on Cloud Security to keep your cloud environment secure and compliant.

Avatar

Written by

Praveen Kumar Muppala

I have strong experience on Multiple Unix/Linux flavours, LAMP Stack, Monitoring Systems, Database, NoSQL. I love to explore the new concepts/services in Cloud Computing World. I have written 4 certifications in different flavours of Linux/Unix.


Related Posts

Amanda Cross
Amanda Cross
— April 9, 2021

New Content: Platforms, Programming, and DevOps – Something for Everyone

This month our team of expert certification specialists released three new or updated learning paths, 16 courses, 13 hands-on labs, and four lab challenges! New content on Cloud Academy You can always visit our Content Roadmap to see what’s just released as well as what’s coming soon....

Read more
  • alibaba
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • DevOps
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • programming
  • Security
Luca Casartelli
Luca Casartelli
— March 31, 2021

Mastering AWS Organizations Service Control Policies

Service Control Policies (SCPs) are IAM-like policies to manage permissions in AWS Organizations. SCPs restrict the actions allowed for accounts within the organization making each one of them compliant with your guidelines. SCPs are not meant to grant permissions; you should consider ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Organizations
  • SCP
Amanda Cross
Amanda Cross
— March 12, 2021

New Content: Focus on DevOps and Programming Content this Month

This month our team of expert certification specialists released 12 new or updated learning paths, 15 courses, 25 hands-on labs, and four lab challenges! New content on Cloud Academy You can always visit our Content Roadmap to see what’s just released as well as what’s coming soon. Ja...

Read more
  • alibaba
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • DevOps
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • programming
Amanda Cross
Amanda Cross
— February 12, 2021

New Content: Get Ready for the CISM Cert Exam & Learn About Alibaba, Plus All the AWS, GCP, and Azure Courses You Know You Can Count On

This month our team of intrepid certification specialists released five learning paths, seven courses, 19 hands-on labs, and three lab challenges!  One particularly interesting new learning path is Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) Foundations. After completing this learn...

Read more
  • alibaba
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • cism
  • DevOps
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • programming
Avatar
Cloud Academy Team
— January 31, 2021

Which Certifications Should I Get?

The old AWS slogan, “Cloud is the new normal” is indeed a reality today. Really, cloud has been the new normal for a while now and getting credentials has become an increasingly effective way to quickly showcase your abilities to recruiters and companies. With all that in mind, the s...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Certifications
  • Cloud Computing
  • Google Cloud Platform
Avatar
Andrew Larkin
— January 31, 2021

The 12 AWS Certifications: Which is Right for You and Your Team?

As companies increasingly shift workloads to the public cloud, cloud computing has moved from a nice-to-have to a core competency in the enterprise. This shift requires a new set of skills to design, deploy, and manage applications in cloud computing. As the market leader and most ma...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Certifications
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— January 29, 2021

AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate: A Study Guide

Want to take a really impactful step in your technical career? Explore the AWS Solutions Architect Associate certificate. Its new version (SAA-C02) was released on March 23, 2020. The AWS Solutions Architect - Associate Certification (or Sol Arch Associate for short) offers some ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Certifications
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate
Amanda Cross
Amanda Cross
— January 7, 2021

New Content: AWS Terraform, Java Programming Lab Challenges, Azure DP-900 & DP-300 Certification Exam Prep, Plus Plenty More Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Big Data Courses

This month our Content Team continues building the catalog of courses for everyone learning about AWS, GCP, and Microsoft Azure. In addition, this month’s updates include several Java programming lab challenges and a couple of courses on big data. In total, we released five new learning...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • DevOps
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Machine Learning
  • programming
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— December 17, 2020

Where Should You Be Focusing Your AWS Security Efforts?

Another day, another re:Invent session! This time I listened to Stephen Schmidt’s session, “AWS Security: Where we've been, where we're going.” Amongst covering the highlights of AWS security during 2020, a number of newly added AWS features/services were discussed, including: AWS Audit...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS re:Invent
  • cloud security
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— December 4, 2020

AWS re:Invent: 2020 Keynote Top Highlights and More

We’ve gotten through the first five days of the special all-virtual 2020 edition of AWS re:Invent. It’s always a really exciting time for practitioners in the field to see what features and services AWS has cooked up for the year ahead.  This year’s conference is a marathon and not a...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Glue Elastic Views
  • AWS re:Invent
Bryony Harrower
Bryony Harrower
— November 6, 2020

WARNING: Great Cloud Content Ahead

At Cloud Academy, content is at the heart of what we do. We work with the world’s leading cloud and operations teams to develop video courses and learning paths that accelerate teams and drive digital transformation. First and foremost, we listen to our customers’ needs and we stay ahea...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • content roadmap
  • GCP
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— October 25, 2020

Excelling in AWS, Azure, and Beyond – How Danut Prisacaru Prepares for the Future

Meet Danut Prisacaru. Danut has been a Software Architect for the past 10 years and has been involved in Software Engineering for 30 years. He’s passionate about software and learning, and jokes that coding is basically the only thing he can do well (!). We think his enthusiasm shines t...

Read more
  • AWS
  • careers
  • champions
  • upskilling