AWS S3 Security

AWS S3 Security

  • AWS S3 Security is a shared responsibility between AWS and the Customer
  • As a managed service, S3 is protected by the AWS global network security procedures
  • AWS handles basic security tasks like guest operating system (OS) and database patching, firewall configuration, and disaster recovery.
  • Security and compliance of S3 is assessed by third-party auditors as part of multiple AWS compliance programs including SOC, PCI DSS, HIPAA, etc.
  • AWS S3 provides several other features to handle security, which are customers’ responsibility.

S3 Data Protection

Refer blog post @ S3 Data Protection

S3 Encryption

Refer blog post @ S3 Encryption

S3 Permissions

Refer blog post @ S3 Permissions

S3 Object Lock

  • S3 Object Lock helps to store objects using a write-once-read-many (WORM) model.
  • S3 Object Lock can help prevent objects from being deleted or overwritten for a fixed amount of time or indefinitely.
  • S3 Object Lock can help meet regulatory requirements that require WORM storage or add an extra layer of protection against object changes and deletion.
  • Object Lock for new buckets can be enabled only for new buckets. For an existing bucket, contact AWS Support.
  • Enabling Object Lock automatically enables versioning for the bucket.
  • Once Object Lock is enabled, you can’t disable Object Lock or suspend versioning for the bucket.
  • S3 Object Lock provides two retention modes that apply different levels of protection to the objects
    • Governance mode
      • Users can’t overwrite or delete an object version or alter its lock settings unless they have special permissions.
      • Objects against can be protected from being deleted by most users, but you can still grant some users permission to alter the retention settings or delete the object if necessary.
      • Can be used to test retention-period settings before creating a compliance-mode retention period.
    • Compliance mode
      • A protected object version can’t be overwritten or deleted by any user, including the root user in your AWS account.
      • When an object is locked in compliance mode, its retention mode can’t be changed, and its retention period can’t be shortened.
      • Compliance mode helps ensure that an object version can’t be overwritten or deleted for the duration of the retention period.

S3 VPC Gateway Endpoint

  • A VPC endpoint enables connections between a VPC and supported services, without requiring that you use an internet gateway, NAT device, VPN connection, or AWS Direct Connect connection.
  • VPC is not exposed to the public internet.
  • Gateway Endpoint is a gateway that is a target for a route in your route table used for traffic destined to either S3.

S3 Security Best Practices

S3 Preventative Security Best Practices

  • Ensure S3 buckets use the correct policies and are not publicly accessible
    • Use S3 block public access
    • Identify Bucket policies and ACLs that allow public access
    • Use AWS Trusted Advisor to inspect the S3 implementation.
  • Implement least privilege access
  • Use IAM roles for applications and AWS services that require S3 access
  • Enable Multi-factor authentication (MFA) Delete to help prevent accidental bucket deletions
  • Consider Data at Rest Encryption
  • Enforce Data in Transit Encryption
  • Consider S3 Object Lock to store objects using a “Write Once Read Many” (WORM) model.
  • Enable versioning to easily recover from both unintended user actions and application failures.
  • Consider S3 Cross-Region replication
  • Consider VPC endpoints for S3 access to provide private S3 connectivity and help prevent traffic from potentially traversing the open internet.

S3 Monitoring and Auditing Best Practices

  • Identify and Audit all S3 buckets to have visibility of all the S3 resources to assess their security posture and take action on potential areas of weakness.
  • Implement monitoring using AWS monitoring tools
  • Enable S3 server access logging, which provides detailed records of the requests that are made to a bucket useful for security and access audits
  • Use AWS CloudTrail, which provides a record of actions taken by a user, a role, or an AWS service in S3.
  • Enable AWS Config, which enables you to assess, audit, and evaluate the configurations of the AWS resources
  • Consider using Amazon Macie with S3 to automatically discover, classify, and protect sensitive data in AWS.
  • Monitor AWS security advisories to regularly check security advisories posted in Trusted Advisor for the AWS account.

AWS Certification Exam Practice Questions

  • Questions are collected from Internet and the answers are marked as per my knowledge and understanding (which might differ with yours).
  • AWS services are updated everyday and both the answers and questions might be outdated soon, so research accordingly.
  • AWS exam questions are not updated to keep up the pace with AWS updates, so even if the underlying feature has changed the question might not be updated
  • Open to further feedback, discussion and correction.

References

AWS_S3_Security

AWS S3 Permissions

AWS S3 Permissions

  • By default, all S3 buckets, objects, and related subresources are private.
  • Only the Resource owner, the AWS account (not the user) that creates the resource, can access the resource.
  • Resource owner can be
    • AWS account that creates the bucket or object owns those resources
    • If an IAM user creates the bucket or object, the AWS account of the IAM user owns the resource
    • If the bucket owner grants cross-account permissions to other AWS account users to upload objects to the buckets, the objects are owned by the AWS account of the user who uploaded the object and not the bucket owner except for the following conditions
      • Bucket owner can deny access to the object, as it is still the bucket owner who pays for the object
      • Bucket owner can delete or apply archival rules to the object and perform restoration
  • User is the AWS Account or the IAM user who access the resource
  • Bucket owner is the AWS account that created a bucket
  • Object owner is the AWS account that uploads the object to a bucket, not owned by the account
  • S3 permissions are classified into
    • Resource based policies and
    • User policies

User Policies

  • User policies use IAM with S3 to control the type of access a user or group of users has to specific parts of an S3 bucket the AWS account owns
  • User policy is always attached to a User, Group, or a Role
  • Anonymous permissions cannot be granted
  • If an AWS account that owns a bucket wants to grant permission to users in its account, it can use either a bucket policy or a user policy

Resource-Based policies

  • Bucket policies and access control lists (ACLs) are resource-based because they are attached to the  S3 resources

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 5.57.36 PM

Bucket Policies

  • Bucket policy can be used to grant cross-account access to other AWS accounts or IAM users in other accounts for the bucket and objects in it.
  • Bucket policies provide centralized, access control to buckets and objects based on a variety of conditions, including S3 operations, requesters, resources, and aspects of the request (e.g. IP address)
  • If an AWS account that owns a bucket wants to grant permission to users in its account, it can use either a bucket policy or a user policy
  • Permissions attached to a bucket apply to all of the objects in that bucket created and owned by the bucket owner
  • Policies can either add or deny permissions across all (or a subset) of objects within a bucket
  • Only the bucket owner is allowed to associate a policy with a bucket
  • Bucket policies can cater to multiple
    • Granting permissions to multiple accounts with added conditions
    • Granting read-only permission to an anonymous user
    • Limiting access to specific IP addresses
    • Restricting access to a specific HTTP referer
    • Restricting access to a specific HTTP header for e.g. to enforce encryption
    • Granting permission to an CloudFront OAI
    • Adding a bucket policy to require MFA
    • Granting cross-account permissions to upload objects while ensuring the bucket owner has full control
    • Granting permissions for S3 inventory and Amazon S3 analytics
    • Granting permissions for S3 Storage Lens

Access Control Lists (ACLs)

  • Each bucket and object has an ACL associated with it.
  • An ACL is a list of grants identifying grantee and permission granted
  • ACLs are used to grant basic read/write permissions on resources to other AWS accounts.
  • ACL supports limited permissions set and
    • cannot grant conditional permissions, nor can you explicitly deny permissions
    • cannot be used to grant permissions for bucket subresources
  • Permission can be granted to an AWS account by the email address or the canonical user ID (is just an obfuscated Account Id). If an email address is provided, S3 will still find the canonical user ID for the user and add it to the ACL.
  • It is Recommended to use Canonical user ID as email address would not be supported
  • Bucket ACL
    • Only recommended use case for the bucket ACL is to grant write permission to the S3 Log Delivery group to write access log objects to the bucket
    • Bucket ACL will help grant write permission on the bucket to the Log Delivery group if access log delivery is needed to the bucket
    • Only way you can grant necessary permissions to the Log Delivery group is via a bucket ACL
  • Object ACL
    • Object ACLs control only Object-level Permissions
    • Object ACL is the only way to manage permission to an object in the bucket not owned by the bucket owner i.e. If the bucket owner allows cross-account object uploads and if the object owner is different from the bucket owner, the only way for the object owner to grant permissions on the object is through Object ACL
    • If the Bucket and Object is owned by the same AWS account, Bucket policy can be used to manage the permissions
    • If the Object and User is owned by the same AWS account, User policy can be used to manage the permissions

S3 Request Authorization

When S3 receives a request, it must evaluate all the user policies, bucket policies, and ACLs to determine whether to authorize or deny the request.

S3 evaluates the policies in 3 context

  • User context is basically the context in which S3 evaluates the User policy that the parent AWS account (context authority) attaches to the user
  • Bucket context is the context in which S3 evaluates the access policies owned by the bucket owner (context authority) to check if the bucket owner has not explicitly denied access to the resource
  • Object context is the context where S3 evaluates policies owned by the Object owner (context authority)

Analogy

  • Consider 3 Parents (AWS Account) A, B and C with Child (IAM User) AA, BA and CA respectively
  • Parent A owns a Toy box (Bucket) with Toy AAA and also allows toys (Objects) to be dropped and picked up
  • Parent A can grant permission (User Policy OR Bucket policy OR both) to his Child AA to access the Toy box and the toys
  • Parent A can grant permissions (Bucket policy) to Parent B (different AWS account) to drop toys into the toys box. Parent B can grant permissions (User policy) to his Child BA to drop Toy BAA
  • Parent B can grant permissions (Object ACL) to Parent A to access Toy BAA
  • Parent A can grant permissions (Bucket Policy) to Parent C to pick up the Toy AAA who in turn can grant permission (User Policy) to his Child CA to access the toy
  • Parent A can grant permission (through IAM Role) to Parent C to pick up the Toy BAA who in turn can grant permission (User Policy) to his Child CA to access the toy

Bucket Operation Authorization

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 6.35.36 AM

  1. If the requester is an IAM user, the user must have permission (User Policy) from the parent AWS account to which it belongs
  2. Amazon S3 evaluates a subset of policies owned by the parent account. This subset of policies includes the user policy that the parent account attaches to the user.
  3. If the parent also owns the resource in the request (in this case, the bucket), Amazon S3 also evaluates the corresponding resource policies (bucket policy and bucket ACL) at the same time.
  4. Requester must also have permissions (Bucket Policy or ACL) from the bucket owner to perform a specific bucket operation.
  5. Amazon S3 evaluates a subset of policies owned by the AWS account that owns the bucket. The bucket owner can grant permission by using a bucket policy or bucket ACL.
  6. Note that, if the AWS account that owns the bucket is also the parent account of an IAM user, then it can configure bucket permissions in a user policy or bucket policy or both

Object Operation Authorization

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 6.39.54 AM

  1. If the requester is an IAM user, the user must have permission (User Policy) from the parent AWS account to which it belongs.
  2. Amazon S3 evaluates a subset of policies owned by the parent account. This subset of policies includes the user policy that the parent attaches to the user.
  3. If the parent also owns the resource in the request (bucket, object), Amazon S3 evaluates the corresponding resource policies (bucket policy, bucket ACL, and object ACL) at the same time.
  4. If the parent AWS account owns the resource (bucket or object), it can grant resource permissions to its IAM user by using either the user policy or the resource policy.
  5. S3 evaluates policies owned by the AWS account that owns the bucket.
  6. If the AWS account that owns the object in the request is not the same as the bucket owner, in the bucket context Amazon S3 checks the policies if the bucket owner has explicitly denied access to the object.
  7. If there is an explicit deny set on the object, Amazon S3 does not authorize the request.
  8. Requester must have permissions from the object owner (Object ACL) to perform a specific object operation.
  9. Amazon S3 evaluates the object ACL.
  10. If bucket and object owners are the same, access to the object can be granted in the bucket policy, which is evaluated in the bucket context.
  11. If the owners are different, the object owners must use an object ACL to grant permissions.
  12. If the AWS account that owns the object is also the parent account to which the IAM user belongs, it can configure object permissions in a user policy, which is evaluated in the user context.

Permission Delegation

  • If an AWS account owns a resource, it can grant those permissions to another AWS account.
  • That account can then delegate those permissions, or a subset of them, to users in the account. This is referred to as permission delegation.
  • But an account that receives permissions from another account cannot delegate permission cross-account to another AWS account.
  • If the Bucket owner wants to grant permission to the Object which does not belong to it to another AWS account it cannot do it through cross-account permissions and need to define an IAM role which can be assumed by the AWS account to gain access

AWS Certification Exam Practice Questions

  • Questions are collected from Internet and the answers are marked as per my knowledge and understanding (which might differ with yours).
  • AWS services are updated everyday and both the answers and questions might be outdated soon, so research accordingly.
  • AWS exam questions are not updated to keep up the pace with AWS updates, so even if the underlying feature has changed the question might not be updated
  • Open to further feedback, discussion and correction.
  1. Which features can be used to restrict access to data in S3? Choose 2 answers
    1. Set an S3 ACL on the bucket or the object.
    2. Create a CloudFront distribution for the bucket.
    3. Set an S3 bucket policy.
    4. Enable IAM Identity Federation
    5. Use S3 Virtual Hosting
  2. Which method can be used to prevent an IP address block from accessing public objects in an S3 bucket?
    1. Create a bucket policy and apply it to the bucket
    2. Create a NACL and attach it to the VPC of the bucket
    3. Create an ACL and apply it to all objects in the bucket
    4. Modify the IAM policies of any users that would access the bucket
  3. A user has granted read/write permission of his S3 bucket using ACL. Which of the below mentioned options is a valid ID to grant permission to other AWS accounts (grantee. using ACL?
    1. IAM User ID
    2. S3 Secure ID
    3. Access ID
    4. Canonical user ID
  4. A root account owner has given full access of his S3 bucket to one of the IAM users using the bucket ACL. When the IAM user logs in to the S3 console, which actions can he perform?
    1. He can just view the content of the bucket
    2. He can do all the operations on the bucket
    3. It is not possible to give access to an IAM user using ACL
    4. The IAM user can perform all operations on the bucket using only API/SDK
  5. A root AWS account owner is trying to understand various options to set the permission to AWS S3. Which of the below mentioned options is not the right option to grant permission for S3?
    1. User Access Policy
    2. S3 Object Policy
    3. S3 Bucket Policy
    4. S3 ACL
  6. A system admin is managing buckets, objects and folders with AWS S3. Which of the below mentioned statements is true and should be taken in consideration by the sysadmin?
    1. Folders support only ACL
    2. Both the object and bucket can have an Access Policy but folder cannot have policy
    3. Folders can have a policy
    4. Both the object and bucket can have ACL but folders cannot have ACL
  7. A user has created an S3 bucket which is not publicly accessible. The bucket is having thirty objects which are also private. If the user wants to make the objects public, how can he configure this with minimal efforts?
    1. User should select all objects from the console and apply a single policy to mark them public
    2. User can write a program which programmatically makes all objects public using S3 SDK
    3. Set the AWS bucket policy which marks all objects as public
    4. Make the bucket ACL as public so it will also mark all objects as public
  8. You need to configure an Amazon S3 bucket to serve static assets for your public-facing web application. Which methods ensure that all objects uploaded to the bucket are set to public read? Choose 2 answers
    1. Set permissions on the object to public read during upload.
    2. Configure the bucket ACL to set all objects to public read.
    3. Configure the bucket policy to set all objects to public read.
    4. Use AWS Identity and Access Management roles to set the bucket to public read.
    5. Amazon S3 objects default to public read, so no action is needed.
  9. Amazon S3 doesn’t automatically give a user who creates _____ permission to perform other actions on that bucket or object.
    1. a file
    2. a bucket or object
    3. a bucket or file
    4. a object or file
  10. A root account owner is trying to understand the S3 bucket ACL. Which of the below mentioned options cannot be used to grant ACL on the object using the authorized predefined group?
    1. Authenticated user group
    2. All users group
    3. Log Delivery Group
    4. Canonical user group
  11. A user is enabling logging on a particular bucket. Which of the below mentioned options may be best suitable to allow access to the log bucket?
    1. Create an IAM policy and allow log access
    2. It is not possible to enable logging on the S3 bucket
    3. Create an IAM Role, which has access to the log bucket
    4. Provide ACL for the logging group
  12. A user is trying to configure access with S3. Which of the following options is not possible to provide access to the S3 bucket / object?
    1. Define the policy for the IAM user
    2. Define the ACL for the object
    3. Define the policy for the object
    4. Define the policy for the bucket
  13. A user is having access to objects of an S3 bucket, which is not owned by him. If he is trying to set the objects of that bucket public, which of the below mentioned options may be a right fit for this action?
    1. Make the bucket public with full access
    2. Define the policy for the bucket
    3. Provide ACL on the object
    4. Create an IAM user with permission
  14. A bucket owner has allowed another account’s IAM users to upload or access objects in his bucket. The IAM user of Account A is trying to access an object created by the IAM user of account B. What will happen in this scenario?
    1. The bucket policy may not be created as S3 will give error due to conflict of Access Rights
    2. It is not possible to give permission to multiple IAM users
    3. AWS S3 will verify proper rights given by the owner of Account A, the bucket owner as well as by the IAM user B to the object
    4. It is not possible that the IAM user of one account accesses objects of the other IAM user

References

AWS_S3_Access_Control