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Showing posts with the label AWS

Recovering network access to EC2 instances

So you've screwed something up. You made a typo in your sshd_config file. You added a firewall rule, or a route, or some other thing, and lost your network access to your EC2 instance. And of course whatever you broke, you broke permanently - you wrote your firewall rules directly to /etc/sysconfig/iptables, you made your goofy change to /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/whatever-interface; so rebooting won't make a damn bit of difference. You read the warnings, you know you shouldn't have. But you did anyway. Oh, and you don't have any backups. Or you have backups from three months ago. Restoring from your crappy backups would mean hours to days of non-stop work and consistent downtime. Or Amazon or whatever other company you're using for backups actually broke your backups/lost your backups/never actually provided you with the backups you paid for. Don't panic. You've got this . You remember that Amazon has some sort of Java-based something or other. Its

Bash script to email new S3 bucket files as compressed attachments (UDPATED)

I've written a simple bash script that checks for new files in an AWS S3 bucket and emails any that it finds as a compress (tar.gz) attachment  - you can find it at my Github account under the name "S3-Filer-Mailer". I built it as a supplement for a contact form that relies on S3 as a back-end, rather than a php mailer or database. Using S3 for contact forms is attractive because it is so unattractive to spammers. There is no way to corrupt this sort of setup for spamming or to get hands on a database through the form, because it isn't connected to one. Why not use Amazon's Simple Notification Service (SNS) ? For one, AWS charges more for SNS than it does for S3 queries and downloads. For another, if this sort of functionality is available through SNS it is not clearly documented. Getting back to the topic of security, the script establishes two network connections - one a connection to S3 to retrieve the files, the other sending the email. The S3 connection

An IRS tax refund phishing scam illustrates the widespread failure of hosting and antivirus providers' security measures

Scams focused on stealing tax refunds remain highly profitable, despite the fact that they are well known and understood by security professionals and the general public , and have been for years. A variety of distribution methods are used, with the common threads being the use of IRS logos and bureaucratic-sounding language to convince users to click a link, download and execute a file and/or send personally identifying information like a Social Security number. A recent example of one such a scam that I came across is a damning illustration of the failure of online service providers to protect users from obvious and simple malware distribution methods. In the example I wish to discuss today, the distribution method was a spammed email that on a small ISP's installation of SpamAssassin (note: I am not an admin or employee of this system; I'm a customer) received an X-Spam-Status score of 5.3 after being flagged with the following variables: X-Spam-Status: No, score=5.3 re

Amazon Finally Ditches SSLv3

Amazon S3 subscribers recently received a form letter like this one: Dear AWS Customer, This message explains some security improvements in our services. Your security is important to us. Please review the entire message carefully to determine whether your use of the services will be affected, and if so what you need to do. As of 12:00 AM PDT May 20, 2015, AWS will discontinue support of SSLv3 for securing connections to S3 buckets. Security research published late last year demonstrated that SSLv3 contained weaknesses in its ability to protect and secure communications. These weaknesses have been addressed in Transport Layer Security (TLS), which is the replacement for SSL. Consistent with our top priority to protect AWS customers, AWS will only support versions of the more modern TLS rather than SSLv3. You are receiving this email because some of your users are accessing Amazon S3 using a browser configured to use SSLv3, or some of your existing applications that use Amazon S3 a