SSM automation

  • 12 April 2024
  • 4 replies

Hello I need to brainstorm about the security risks and their mitigation am building SSM document on AWS, the runbook performs in-depth analysis of EMR Logs using Athena, it requires input parameters such as the EMR Cluster ID and the SSM Automation IAM Role. It might require S3 logs location for the EMR cluster in case it doesn’t exist. It also allows the user to enable/disable log dive on EMR container, node logs, or both, utilizing optional parameters for specific date range or keyword-based searches. 

The IAM role used assume the ssm service but as part of the automation I create glue database and I place json files inside the EMR logs bucket. As a last step of automation I cleanup all resources.

4 replies

Shuning@ could you help me with this.

Userlevel 6

Hey @mohahmt - thanks for the question! Just reached out to a few in the community who I believe might have some valuable input to share with you! 😊

Userlevel 3

 Here's some possible security risks associated with this setup, along with suggestions for mitigation:

Potential Security Risks

1. Unauthorized Access:
   - If the IAM role configured for SSM automation is overly permissive, it could allow unauthorized actions beyond the intended scope.
   - Access to sensitive log data by unauthorized personnel through misconfigured permissions.

2. Data Leakage:
   - Sensitive data from EMR logs could be exposed if the S3 bucket permissions are not properly configured.
   - If the cleanup process fails to execute properly, leftover data could be exposed to unauthorized access.

3. Misconfiguration:
   - Incorrectly setting up the EMR, Athena, or Glue services could lead to vulnerabilities or data processing errors.
   - Misconfiguration of input parameters, such as EMR Cluster ID, could lead to errors or unintended actions.

4. Injection Attacks:
   - If input parameters (like keywords for searches) are not properly validated, it might lead to injection attacks, allowing attackers to execute unintended queries or actions.

5. Resource Exhaustion:
   - Intensive use of Athena and Glue for processing large EMR logs could lead to high costs and resource exhaustion, affecting other operations within the AWS environment. (unlikely given enterprise resources)

6. Compliance and Privacy Issues:
   - Depending on the nature of the data in the EMR logs, processing and storing this data might need to comply with regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, etc.(retention, deletion, storage)


Potential Mitigation Strategies

1. IAM Role Configuration:
   - Implement the principle of least privilege by restricting the IAM role’s permissions to only those necessary for the task.
   - Use AWS IAM policies to control access, including conditions for assuming roles and resource-level permissions.

2. Secure S3 Buckets:
   - Encrypt data at rest in S3 using AWS KMS.
   - Ensure that bucket policies and access control lists (ACLs) are set to deny public access unless explicitly required.
   - Enable S3 access logging to monitor and audit access requests.

3. Input Validation:
   - Sanitize and validate all input parameters to the automation to prevent injection attacks.
   - Ensure that inputs such as dates and keywords are checked against expected formats.

4. Resource Cleanup:
   - Implement robust error handling to ensure that the cleanup step is always executed, even if earlier steps fail.
   - Use AWS CloudTrail and config rules to monitor and ensure that resources are cleaned up properly.

5. Audit and Monitoring:
   - Enable logging and monitoring using AWS CloudTrail and Amazon CloudWatch to detect and respond to suspicious activities.
   - Regularly audit the automation process and IAM roles for any changes or anomalies.

6. Compliance:
   - Ensure that data handling in services like Athena and EMR complies with applicable laws and regulations.
   - Consider implementing data masking or tokenization where necessary to protect sensitive data.

7. Error Handling and Alerts:
   - Set up comprehensive error handling within the SSM document to manage exceptions and unexpected inputs.
   - Configure alerts for failed executions or configuration errors to quickly address issues.

Those are some quickish ideas but I am certainly not an expert on all things AWS so I would have to defer to some resources from AWS for more guidance.

Badge +1

I will say , start with a small visualisation for yourself, like a diagram with proper flows (data or others) on how different components interacts with each other and you will get more insights on what a probable or possible threat can be. This will somehow help you magically to see what can go wrong.