This week in security: Norton 360 drops a cryptominer, the government levels some heavy charges, Azure keeps hitting some rough spots, and more!
Corey: This is the AWS Morning Brief: Security Edition. AWS is fond of saying security is job zero. That means it’s nobody in particular’s job, which means it falls to the rest of us. Just the news you need to know, none of the fluff.
This episode is sponsored in part by our friends at Rising Cloud
, which I hadn’t heard of before, but they’re doing something vaguely interesting here. They are using AI, which is usually where my eyes glaze over and I lose attention, but they’re using it to help developers be more efficient by reducing repetitive tasks. So, the idea being that you can run stateless things without having to worry about scaling, placement, et cetera, and the rest. They claim significant cost savings, and they’re able to wind up taking what you’re running as it is in AWS with no changes, and run it inside of their data centers that span multiple regions. I’m somewhat skeptical, but their customers seem to really like them, so that’s one of those areas where I really have a hard time being too snarky about it because when you solve a customer’s problem and they get out there in public and say, “We’re solving a problem,” it’s very hard to snark about that. Multus Medical, Construx.ai and Stax have seen significant results by using them. And it’s worth exploring. So, if you’re looking for a smarter, faster, cheaper alternative to EC2, Lambda, or batch, consider checking them out. Visit risingcloud.com/benefits
. That’s risingcloud.com/benefits
, and be sure to tell them that I said you because watching people wince when you mention my name is one of the guilty pleasures of listening to this podcast.
Welcome to Last Week in AWS: Security
. Let’s dive in. Norton 360—which sounds like a prelude to an incredibly dorky attempt at the moonwalk—now comes with a cryptominer
. You know, the thing that use tools like this to avoid having on your computer? This is apparently to offset how zippy modern computers have gotten, in a direct affront to Norton’s ability to make even maxed-out laptops run like total garbage. Speaking of total garbage, you almost certainly want to use literally any other vendor for this stuff now.
Let’s take a look what AWS has done. “Comprehensive Cyber Security Framework for Primary (Urban) Cooperative Banks (UCBs)”
. This is a perfect case study in what’s wrong with the way we talk about security. First, clicking the link to the report in the blog post threw an error; I had to navigate to the AWS Artifact console and download the PDF manually. Then, the PDF is all of two pages long, as it apparently has an embedded Excel document within it that Preview on my Mac can’t detect. The proper next step is to download Adobe Acrobat for Mac in order to read this, but I’ve given up by this point. This may be the most remarkable case of AWS truly understanding its customer mentality that we’ve seen so far this year.
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“Disabling Security Hub controls in a multi account environment”
. I hate that this is a solution instead of a native feature, but it’s important. There are some Security Hub controls that are just nonsense. “Oh no, you didn’t encrypt your EBS volumes.” “Oh dear, you haven’t rotated your IAM credentials in 90 days.” “Holy CRAP, the S3 bucket serving static assets to the world is world-readable.” You get the picture.
And a tool I found fun, “Port Knocking” is an old security technique in which you attempt to connect to a host on a predetermined sequence of ports. Get it right and you’re now able to connect to the host in question on the port that you want. ipv6-ghost-ship
has done something similar yet ever more ridiculous: It takes advantage of the fact that IPv6 means that each EC2 instance gets 281 trillion IP addresses to only accept SSH connections when the last three octets of the IP address on the instance match the time-based authentication code. This is a ridiculous hack, and I love it oh so very much. I’m Chief Cloud Economist at The Duckbill Group, and this has been Last Week in AWS: Security
. Thanks for listening.
Corey: Thank you for listening to the AWS Morning Brief: Security Edition
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