DeepSec 2013 Video: Pivoting In Amazon Clouds

René Pfeiffer/ February 23, 2014/ Conference

The „Cloud“ is a great place. Technically it’s not a part of a organisation’s infrastructure, because it is outsourced. The systems are virtualised, their physical location can change, and all it takes to access them is a management interface. What happens if an attacker gains control? How big is the impact on other systems?

At DeepSec 2013 Andrés Riancho showed what attackers can do once they get access to the company Amazon’s root account. There is more to it than a simple login. You have to deal with EC2, SQS, IAM, RDS, meta-data, user-data, Celery, etc. His talk follows a knowledgeable intruder from the first second after identifying a vulnerability in a cloud-deployed Web application through all the steps he takes to reach the root account for the Amazon user.

Regardless of how your infrastructure looks, you should definitely take a look at Andrés’ talk. The „Cloud“ is different from a typical non-„Cloud“ setup. Your security defence mechanisms have to take this into account.

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About René Pfeiffer

System administrator, lecturer, hacker, security consultant, technical writer and DeepSec organisation team member. Has done some particle physics, too. Prefers encrypted messages for the sake of admiring the mathematical algorithms at work.