Deciding to conduct AWS penetration testing is a crucial decision that requires a lot of background information and the right penetration testing service provider. Pentesting helps in resolving the vulnerabilities in your AWS environment by using the right kind of tools and techniques. This is why the process should be conducted on a periodic basis to ensure that you remain on top of hackers.
AWS penetration testing must be conducted with the right expertise and knowledge since it differs from traditional testing techniques in terms of the procedure and formalities. AWS users are responsible for the security of the assets deployed or built on the environment and should ensure the privacy of their data.
What Kind of AWS Penetration Testing is Allowed?
AWS allows users to fully test the EC2 instances after removing aspects that could lead to the disruption of user-operated services. Under EC2, you can test different domains such as application programming interfaces (APIs), operating systems, virtual machines, and any web applications hosted on the company server. This means you can pentest the deployment and setup of cloud environments and leave the infrastructure of vendor-operated services and third-party services.
Testers can look into the AWS servers, the relational database services (RDS), security of third-party service suppliers, and the physical hardware of other companies along with their facilities.
Performing AWS Penetration Testing on Different Services
There are different AWS services available to the users of which specific aspects need to be checked regularly for security verification. Under S3 buckets, the testing team should identify all of the user’s assets and evaluate access permissions. Here, the access to AWS resources, associated processes, users, and other aspects of the Logical Access Control should be tested for their security responses.
The credentials for AWS accounts should follow specific security policies and the bucket’s logging and versioning features must be enabled. The permissions for all the HTTP methods (GET, PUT, DELETE, and LIST) must be restricted to specific users depending on their requirements.
For Identity and Access Management (IAM), the first step is to identify assets of the data store and applications. Other steps that can be taken to ensure security include the removal of the root account’s keys, multi-factor authentication, allowing one key per user, deleting inactive user accounts, regularly changing SSH and PGP keys, and allowing only service accounts access. The root account must be kept secure and not be automated or used for daily tasks.
The database service is an important aspect of all web services and should therefore be properly secured. Regularly back up your data – if you’re using a timer for automatic backups, make sure it’s not for more than a week. Access must be restricted for specific IP addresses and the multi-AZ deployment approach should be utilized.
4 Best AWS Penetration Testing Tools
There are a variety of commonly used best AWS penetration testing tools for checking the security of the integrated services through different tests. Here are some of them:
1. AWS inventory
This is a Python script that helps the tester identify all of the AWS resources associated with a single account. The AWS environment helps users in using multiple services at the same time for a customized experience. However, when it comes to billing and security purposes such as conducting a security audit, the difficulties arise. If any resources are left dormant or are unknown to the user, this can leave weaknesses in the security configuration that lead to access control and authorization issues. This is where AWS inventory comes in handy.
Prowler is a command-line tool that is used for implementing best security practices, conducting audits, and looking into security hardening measures in accordance to the CIS AMAZON Web Services Foundations Benchmark. It allows for more than 100 additional checks related to different compliance standards including GDPR, PCI-DSS, ISO-270001, and SOC2. Prowler provides the tester with the option for conducting specific checks and checking multiple AWS groups parallely or one after the other.
This is an open-source project that is specifically designed to detect security risks in various cloud infrastructure accounts on Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services, GitHub, etc. The scripts are modified to identify possible misconfigurations and security risks. The tool is available in both the self-hosted option and as the commercial version that is hosted at Aqua Wave.
Another open-source AWS exploitation framework, this tool is created and maintained by Rhino Security Labs and mainly targets offensive security testing for different cloud environments. Pentesters can use this tool to detect configuration flaws within the AWS account and use its modules to increase its functionality. Under the current modules, you can design a range of attacks including privilege escalation, explore the backdoors of IAM users, and manipulate vulnerable Lambda functions.
These are some of the AWS penetration testing methodologies and tools that are used for the procedure. Firms having this knowledge can choose their pentesting service providers after checking their claims on expertise and knowledge in handling such exercises.