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EC2 Get User Data

Platform: AWS


  • Discovery


This simulates an attacker attempting to retrieve EC2 Instance User Data that frequently includes installation scripts and hard-coded secrets for deployment. This module results in an Access Denied error as the users are not granted the appropriate permissions

Attacker Actions:

  • Calls the DescribeInstanceAttribute API specifying the userData attribute (3) times on a fictitious EC2 Instance.
  • Resulting event name: DescribeInstanceAttribute
  • Assigned IAM Permission: None

Workflow Inputs:

Specify which user this attack should run as.


Clean Up:

None - no resources are modified.

Execution Instructions

  • See User Guide for Execution Instructions via the Google Cloud Console
  • Programmatically execute this workflow with the following cli command:
gcloud workflows run aws-ec2-get-user-data `--data={"user": "user01"}` 

Detection Artifacts

Identify when a CloudTrail trail is deleted, through CloudTrail's DescribeInstanceAttribute event.