Privacy Means Your Data Is Private to You and Also Google

Episode Summary

Last week in security news: the pandemic brought a surge in stolen no one’s surprise, Google Drives makes some mistakes, some “how to” on deploying AWS Network Firewall, and more!

Episode Show Notes & Transcript


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.

Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by our friends at Sysdig. Sysdig is the solution for securing DevOps. They have a blog post that went up recently about how an insecure AWS Lambda function could be used as a pivot point to get access into your environment. They’ve also gone deep in-depth with a bunch of other approaches to how DevOps and security are inextricably linked. To learn more, visit and tell them I sent you. That’s S-Y-S-D-I-G dot com. My thanks to them for their continued support of this ridiculous nonsense.

After the content for this episode was effectively laid out, AWS did a late Friday night announcement of a new GuardDuty enhancement that would automatically opt people in to a chargeable service unless they explicitly opted each account out. This obviously doesn’t thrill me or other affected customers. so, as I record this, the situation is still evolving, but rest assured I’m going to have further thoughts on this next week.

Now, let’s see what happened last week in AWS security. so, last year, Wiz found three vulnerabilities that allowed attackers to read or write into other customers’ AWS accounts. This flew beneath the radar at the time, but they’re all coming out of the woodwork now, and AWS’s security reputation, more or less, lies in tatters, replaced by a reputation for clamming up and admitting nothing. I’m already wincing at this summer’s re:Inforce keynote. if they try their usual messaging line, it’s not going to end well for them.

There was apparently a serious vulnerability within the Linux polkit library. It took Amazon Linux an embarrassingly long time to acknowledge it and put out a release. Now, I’m not a fan of single-vendor Linux installs; any bets on how many non-Amazonians have commit rights to the distribution?

Failing to learn from experience is never a great look, but as per ProPublica, “Companies Leave Vast Amounts of Sensitive Data Unprotected” despite decades of breaches. Please, please, please, if you’re listening to this, don’t be one of them. There’s no value in buying the latest whiz-bang vendor software to defend against state-level actors if you’re going to leave the S3 bucket containing the backups open to the world.

And an uncomfortable reminder that we might not be the only parties perusing our “private” files stored within various cloud providers, Google Drive started mistakenly flagging files as infringing copyright. Now, amusingly the files in question tended to consist entirely of a single character within the file, but the reminder isn’t usually something that cloud providers want dangled in front of us. Once again we are, in fact, reminded that Google considers privacy to be keeping information between you and Google.

Corey: You know the drill: you’re just barely falling asleep and you’re jolted awake by an emergency page. That’s right, it’s your night on call, and this is the bad kind of Call of Duty. The good news is, is that you’ve got New Relic, so you can quickly run down the incident checklist and find the problem. You have an errors inbox that tells you that Lambdas are good, RUM is good, but something’s up in APM. So, you click the error and find the deployment marker where it all began. Dig deeper, there’s another set of errors. What is it? Of course, it’s Kubernetes, starting after an update. You ask that team to roll back and bam, problem solved. That’s the value of combining 16 different monitoring products into a single platform: you can pinpoint issues down to the line of code quickly. That’s why the Dev and Ops teams at DoorDash, GitHub, Epic Games, and more than 14,000 other companies use New Relic. The next late-night call is just waiting to happen, so get New Relic before it starts. And you can get access to the whole New Relic platform at 100 gigabytes of data free, forever, with no credit card. Visit that’s

AWS had a couple interesting blog posts. One of them was “How to deploy AWS Network Firewall to help protect your network from malware”. and I’m torn on this service, to be honest, because On the one hand, it extends the already annoying pricing model of the Managed NAT Gateway, but On the other, it provides a lot more than simple address translation and is cost-competitive with a number of 
other solutions in this space. I think I’m going to land on, “use it if it makes sense for you, but don’t expect it to be cheap.”

And a great blog post from AWS security folks—which is, honestly, something I have said a lot in the past, and I look forward to saying a lot more of in the future—“How to use tokenization to improve data security and reduce audit scope”. “Reducing the scope” is one of the best ways to make audits hurt less, but it tends to be infrequently discussed. This is worth paying attention to.

And lastly, there was an interesting tool that came out. Well, not really so much an interesting tool so much as an interesting blog post that’s a step-by-step walkthrough that features some open-source software and a few configuration options gets you to a place of “Ransomware-resistant backups with S3”. It leverages the Duplicity open-source tool but doesn’t handwave over how the integration works. More like this, please. And that’s what happened last week in AWS security. Thanks for listening, and I’ll talk to you more next week.

Corey: Thank you for listening to the AWS Morning Brief: Security Edition with the latest in AWS security that actually matters. Please follow AWS Morning Brief on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Overcast—or wherever the hell it is you find the dulcet tones of my voice—and be sure to sign up for the Last Week in AWS newsletter at

Announcer: This has been a HumblePod production. Stay humble.
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