Require Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for IAM User in AWS

As a Security Best Practice we should always require IAM Users to have Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) enabled when accessing the AWS Console.

The problem is how do we require users to configure MFA?

The IAM policy below can be used to require users to enable their MFA. If they do not have MFA, all their permissions will be denied. This will make access to your AWS Account more secure.



IAM Policy that requires IAM Users to have Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

{
    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
        {
            "Sid": "AllowViewAccountInfo",
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
                "iam:ListUsers",
                "iam:ListMFADevices",
                "iam:GetAccountPasswordPolicy",
                "iam:GetAccountSummary"
            ],
            "Resource": "*"
        },
        {
            "Sid": "AllowChangeOwnPasswordsOnFirstLogin",
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
                "iam:ChangePassword",
                "iam:GetUser"
            ],
            "Resource": "arn:aws:iam::*:user/${aws:username}"
        },
        {
            "Sid": "AllowChangeOwnPasswordsAfterMFAEnabled",
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
                "iam:GetLoginProfile",
                "iam:UpdateLoginProfile"
            ],
            "Resource": "arn:aws:iam::*:user/${aws:username}"
        },
        {
            "Sid": "AllowManageOwnVirtualMFADevice",
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
                "iam:CreateVirtualMFADevice",
                "iam:DeleteVirtualMFADevice"
            ],
            "Resource": "arn:aws:iam::*:mfa/${aws:username}"
        },
        {
            "Sid": "AllowManageOwnUserMFA",
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
                "iam:DeactivateMFADevice",
                "iam:EnableMFADevice",
                "iam:ListMFADevices",
                "iam:ResyncMFADevice"
            ],
            "Resource": "arn:aws:iam::*:user/${aws:username}"
        },
        {
            "Sid": "DenyAllExceptListedIfNoMFA",
            "Effect": "Deny",
            "NotAction": [
                "iam:ListUsers",
                "iam:ListMFADevices",
                "iam:ChangePassword",
                "iam:GetUser",
                "iam:CreateVirtualMFADevice",
                "iam:DeleteVirtualMFADevice",
                "iam:DeactivateMFADevice",
                "iam:EnableMFADevice",
                "iam:ListMFADevices",
                "iam:ResyncMFADevice"
            ],
            "Resource": "*",
            "Condition": {
                "BoolIfExists": {
                    "aws:MultiFactorAuthPresent": "false"
                }
            }
        }
    ],
    "Id": "RadishLogic.com MFA Required IAM Policy"
}

The name of my IAM Policy is MFA-Required, you may use whatever name you desire to use.

Continue reading Require Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for IAM User in AWS

Copying a Key Pair Generated by AWS to Another Region (with Screenshots)

I have an existing key pair that was generated via AWS Console. Since I do not want to create another set of Key Pair for the other regions, I would like to use the same Key Pair. Is it possible to copy the Key Pair to another Region? How can I do this?

Dany


Hi Dany, the short answer to your question is yes, it is possible to copy your existing AWS generated Key Pair to another region and even copy this to another AWS account.


The Challenge with AWS Generated Key Pairs

Generating the Key Pairs via AWS Console is easy, it gives you the Private Key and you can launch EC2 instances and associate it with your instance by adjusting the settings during EC2 Instance Launch. Then you can SSH to your EC2 Instance via the Private Key.

The issue here is the Public Key. AWS does not provide the Public Key during creation or any time after that.

Do not worry, we can still get the Public Key. It is not easy as clicking on the console then selecting copy to other region, but it is still doable.

See the steps below.


Step-by-step guide on copying a Key Pair to another region.

For this tutorial, I have created an AWS Key Pair in N. Virginia Region (us-east-1) – radishlogic_key.

The goal is to copy the Key Pair to Oregon Region (us-west-2).

Here are screenshots of my Key Pair.

Key Pair in AWS Console
Private Key

1. Retrieving the Private Key in N. Virginia Region (us-east-1)

Launch a temporary Linux EC2 Instance in where the Key Pair is located (us-east-1). Any Linux Image will do.

Continue reading Copying a Key Pair Generated by AWS to Another Region (with Screenshots)

How to solve SSL Certificate not showing in AWS CloudFront

Most likely you already have an SSL Certificate in AWS Certificate Manager (ACM). Then when you go to configure it in CloudFront you cannot select the radio button that says Custom SSL Certificate (example.com) or your SSL Certificate does not show in the options.

The reason for this is that your SSL Certificate should be in the N. Virginia Region (us-east-1).

If you look closely on the words below the selection it says You can use a certificate stored in AWS Certificate Manager (ACM) in the US East (N. Virginia) Region, or you use a certificate stored in IAM.

This is also stated in the AWS CloudFront Documentation regarding the use of Alternate Domain Names and HTTPS.

Request or upload your SSL Certificate in AWS Certificate Manager in N. Virginia Region (us-east-1) and your SSL Certificate should show on the selection.

With this you can now use HTTPS to access your services when you are working with CloudFront.

How to solve Failed-Activating Windows in AWS EC2

Sometimes when I create a Windows EC2 Instance from one of my custom AMIs I get an activation failed Windows Server.

Follow the instruction below to Activate your Windows Instance. (For Windows Server 2016, 2019 and later only).

Activate Windows Manually using EC2Launch initialization script

Open Powershell on your Windows Server and run the command below.

C:\ProgramData\Amazon\EC2-Windows\Launch\Scripts\InitializeInstance.ps1; cscript "${env:SYSTEMROOT}\system32\slmgr.vbs" /ato

Notes:

  • No need to run Powershell in administrator mode.
  • No need to restart your instance. Once you run the above command, the Activate Windows on your desktop will disappear.
  • This will not update the local Administrator password

There are other ways to Activate Windows on your AWS EC2. You can check them all here.