How to Perform Your Own AWS Penetration Testing

How to Perform Your Own AWS Penetration Testing: DIY Steps, Tools, and Advantages

AWS penetration testing is the next big thing for cybersecurity. With the increasing cloud adoption, the security threats against it have also risen. AWS, as a market leader, has a lot to offer in terms of advantages and benefits of the cloud that you might not be aware of. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what these advantages are and how they can benefit your company along with the DIY steps to carrying out your very own AWS penetration testing.

DIY Steps For Performing AWS Penetration Testing

The first step in performing your own AWS penetration testing is to understand the different components of Amazon’s cloud platform. This includes understanding the different services offered, how they work together, and what potential attack surfaces are available. Once you have a good understanding of the platform, you can start mapping out your test plan.

Your test plan should include identifying which systems or applications you’ll be targeting as well as what vulnerabilities you’re hoping to exploit. You’ll also need to identify any specific tools or techniques that you’ll be using during your assessment.

One thing to keep in mind when pen-testing Amazon Web Services is that many of the traditional methods used for attacking on-premises systems don’t always apply here. For example, you won’t be able to use massive denial of service attacks against your own instances because Amazon doesn’t allow it.

Once you have a good idea of what exactly you’ll be testing and how, then comes the fun part: actually performing the online penetration test! You can either start from scratch or boot up some pre-configured VMs that will help get you started with mapping out different attack surfaces on various systems. Some of these tools even include Cuckoo sandboxing capabilities so that everything is done in an isolated environment for added safety. Once finished running through these tests, go back over all data generated during this process. Look at any potential vulnerabilities identified as well as how they could potentially affect other parts of your system or applications (if applicable).

Once you’re finished performing your own AWS penetration testing, don’t forget to go back over the results and generate a report. This should include not only which vulnerabilities were identified along with how they could potentially affect your systems/applications but also what steps can be taken in order to mitigate these issues.

Tools For AWS Penetration Testing

As we mentioned earlier, there are plenty of different options available when it comes to choosing the right tools for performing Amazon cloud services penetration testing. This includes everything from traditional on-premises solutions such as Metasploit to open source alternatives like Cuckoo sandboxing capabilities. Here’s a quick look at some of our favorites that will definitely help get the job done!

Cuckoo Sandbox

It is an automated malware analysis system with extensive support for various virtual machine platforms including VMware, VirtualBox, KVM/QEMU, Microsoft Hyper-V Server, and Amazon EC. This is an open-source solution that’s available for free (although donations are definitely welcome) which makes it perfect for independent security researchers along with anyone else looking to perform their own AWS penetration testing without any upfront costs.

Canthele, LLC has put together a specialized version of Cuckoo sandbox called CloudSaw specifically designed to work within the Amazon cloud infrastructure as well as VMware Fusion/Workstation on OS X-based systems. There are three different options when it comes to using this tool including AMI builds, pre-installed VMs from the marketplace, or building your own AMIs directly through its web interface – all methods require no knowledge regarding virtualization technologies whatsoever! These include but aren’t limited to detecting suspicious activities through process monitoring, hooking API call monitoring (with in-depth lookups), and more.


It also includes user/group awareness with the ability to see exactly what’s happening within your environment at all times which makes it perfect for performing AWS penetration testing when combined with other tools like Cuckoo sandbox! Other features include built-in malware analysis capabilities along with full support for mobile devices allowing you to easily retrieve data on the go. All of this is wrapped up into a single lightweight package that doesn’t require much system resources either – definitely something worth checking out if you’re an Amazon cloud services pen tester looking for additional options!


It has released its own set of open source security tools designed specifically for performing AWS cloud pentesting. These include everything from the aforementioned Cuckoo sandbox to Bloodhound, which is a web application fingerprinter that can be used for mapping out your target environment! It also includes tools like CloudDigger and Siphon designed to provide reconnaissance capabilities as well as information gathering on mobile devices respectively – definitely two more worth checking out if you’re an Amazon cloud services pen tester looking for additional options!


This helps keep track of all your security risks by continuously monitoring EC usage patterns in addition to potential anomalies such as open ports, DNS changes, or unsecured RDS instances among others. This is another great option worth considering when it comes time to perform AWS penetration testing with its simple user interface that anyone can follow along with regardless of their experience level!

ManageEngine’s Security Manager for AWS provides organizations with the ability to manage, track, and monitor all of their cloud infrastructure security components within a single centralized web-based console. It comes packed full of useful features like configuration compliance tracking which allows you to create policy exceptions on demand as well as continuously audit your current EC usage patterns in real-time. This is another excellent option worth considering when it comes time to perform an AWS penetration testing – definitely something worth looking into if you’re interested in additional security management capabilities beyond what other tools provide out of the box!

Advantages And Disadvantages Of AWS Penetration Testing

There are many advantages of using Amazon cloud services for pen-testing purposes including ease of use, quick deployment/setup times, cost-effectiveness (depending on usage), and compatibility. There’s no denying that shopping around for other options will likely result in more time wasted while trying to get them up and running properly alongside any potential security concerns. Also, depending on your usage, AWS can actually be one of the more cost-effective options.

When it comes to disadvantages, Amazon’s cloud platform is definitely no exception to the rule – there are plenty of potential attack surfaces that an attacker could take advantage of if they’re aware of them. One thing to keep in mind is that since Amazon doesn’t allow DDoS attacks against your own instances, you’ll need another way to test for these types of vulnerabilities. Additionally, many organizations still aren’t entirely comfortable with moving their entire infrastructure over to the cloud so this might not be an option for everyone.

Overall, we believe that Amazon Web Services penetration testing is a great option for companies looking for an alternative or supplement to traditional pen-testing methods. With the right tools and knowledge, you’ll be able to perform your own AWS penetration testing in no time at all.


Whether you’re new to Amazon cloud services penetration testing or are already quite familiar with the process, there’s definitely something for everyone in this roundup of tools. These are just a few examples of the many options that are currently available and we’ll continue to update this list as new tools become available. So be sure to check back often and stay ahead of the curve when it comes to AWS security!

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