Saturday, May 25, 2024

An Empty S3 Bucket Can Make Your AWS Bills Explode

In the world of cloud computing, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a giant that offers a wide range of services that cater to various needs, from storage to computation.

Among these services, AWS S3 (Simple Storage Service) is a trendy choice for data storage, known for its durability, availability, and scalability.

However, a recent incident highlights a lesser-known risk associated with S3 buckets that could lead to unexpectedly high charges on your AWS bill.

A few weeks ago, Maciej Pocwierz was working on a Proof of Concept (PoC) for a document indexing system for a client who created a single S3 bucket in the AWS eu-west-1 region.

Is Your Network Under Attack? - Read CISO’s Guide to Avoiding the Next Breach - Download Free Guide

The intention was simple: upload some files for testing. However, within just two days, the developer faced a shocking AWS bill of over $1,300.

The billing console revealed nearly 100,000,000 S3 PUT requests had been executed against this newly created bucket in a single day.

AWS Billing Dashboard showing unexpected charges

This has sparked discussions regarding Denial-of-Wallet attacks, where malicious actors can cause significant expenses for bucket owners by making unauthorized requests.

Investigation and Discovery

Initially baffled by the massive number of requests, the developer turned to AWS CloudTrail, which provides logs for tracking user activity and API usage.

Maciej Pocwierz said that enabling CloudTrail made it evident that thousands of write requests were being sent to the S3 bucket from multiple external AWS accounts.

Further investigation revealed that a popular open-source backup tool had a default configuration that inadvertently pointed to the developer’s S3 bucket.

Every instance of this tool deployed with the default settings attempted to store its backups in the developer’s bucket, leading to a flood of PUT requests.

Bucket Naming and Security

This incident underscores the importance of carefully choosing the names of S3 buckets.

Using common names can lead to conflicts or unintended access if other users mistakenly or maliciously target the bucket.

To avoid such issues, it is advisable to use unique, non-descriptive names for S3 buckets.

Monitoring and Alerts

AWS users must monitor their usage and set up billing alerts. AWS provides tools like CloudWatch and Budgets that can send alerts when usage patterns change dramatically or when costs exceed certain thresholds. This can be a lifesaver in preventing billing surprises.

Understanding AWS Free Tier and Billing

Users must understand the limits of the AWS Free Tier and how billing works. S3 charges are based on storage used, number of requests, and data transferred.

Even if the stored data is minimal, many requests or large data transfers can result in significant charges.

While AWS S3 is a powerful tool for storage, the incident serves as a reminder of the potential financial risks associated with misconfigurations and security oversights.

Users must take proactive steps to secure their resources, monitor their usage, and understand their billing.

Combat Email Threats with Easy-to-Launch Phishing Simulations: Email Security Awareness Training -> Try Free Demo 

Website

Latest articles

Hackers Weaponizing Microsoft Access Documents To Execute Malicious Program

In multiple aggressive phishing attempts, the financially motivated organization UAC-0006 heavily targeted Ukraine, utilizing...

Microsoft Warns Of Storm-0539’s Aggressive Gift Card Theft

Gift cards are attractive to hackers since they provide quick monetization for stolen data...

Kinsing Malware Attacking Apache Tomcat Server With Vulnerabilities

The scalability and flexibility of cloud platforms recently boosted the emerging trend of cryptomining...

NSA Releases Guidance On Zero Trust Maturity To Secure Application From Attackers

Zero Trust Maturity measures the extent to which an organization has adopted and implemented...

Chinese Hackers Stay Hidden On Military And Government Networks For Six Years

Hackers target military and government networks for varied reasons, primarily related to spying, which...

DNSBomb : A New DoS Attack That Exploits DNS Queries

A new practical and powerful Denial of service attack has been discovered that exploits...

Malicious PyPI & NPM Packages Attacking MacOS Users

Cybersecurity researchers have identified a series of malicious software packages targeting MacOS users.These...
Guru baran
Guru baranhttps://gbhackers.com
Gurubaran is a co-founder of Cyber Security News and GBHackers On Security. He has 10+ years of experience as a Security Consultant, Editor, and Analyst in cybersecurity, technology, and communications.

Free Webinar

Live API Attack Simulation

94% of organizations experience security problems in production APIs, and one in five suffers a data breach. As a result, cyber-attacks on APIs increased from 35% in 2022 to 46% in 2023, and this trend continues to rise.
Key takeaways include:

  • An exploit of OWASP API Top 10 vulnerability
  • A brute force ATO (Account Takeover) attack on API
  • A DDoS attack on an API
  • Positive security model automation to prevent API attacks

Related Articles