ECS task with high privileged policies

Security & Compliance
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Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) is a fully managed container orchestration service that makes it easy to run, stop, and manage Docker containers on a cluster. ECS allows users to define task definitions that describe how a container should be run, including the container image, resource allocation, and security policies. A task definition in ECS can have high privileged policies, which can provide elevated permissions to the container, including access to sensitive data, systems, and resources. If a task definition with high privileged policies is compromised, it can result in a security breach that can compromise the entire system. To ensure the security of ECS, it is important to review the security settings of the task definitions and associated IAM policies. Organizations should minimize the use of high privileged policies and only use them when necessary. If a task definition with high privileged policies is identified, it is recommended to take immediate remediation steps to prevent unauthorized access and protect sensitive data and infrastructure.‍


If an organization identifies a compromised ECS task definition with high privileged policies, they should take immediate remediation steps to prevent unauthorized access and protect sensitive data and infrastructure. Here are some recommended steps to take:

  1. Remove High Privileged Policies: Remove the high privileged policies from the task definition and replace them with more restrictive policies that provide only the necessary permissions.
  2. Limit Network Access: Restrict network access to the task definition by configuring security groups and network ACLs to allow only necessary traffic to and from the task definition.
  3. Use IAM Roles and Policies: Use IAM roles and policies to grant permissions to the task definition instead of using high privileged policies. Limit the permissions to only what is necessary for the task to operate.
  4. Use AWS Secrets Manager: Use AWS Secrets Manager to store and manage sensitive credentials and other secrets used by the task definition. Limit access to the secrets by using IAM roles and policies.
  5. Monitor for Suspicious Activity: Monitor logs and metrics for suspicious activity, such as unauthorized access attempts or changes to the security configuration of the task definition.

By taking these remediation steps, organizations can help ensure that their ECS tasks are secured and that the system remains protected against potential security breaches. It is also important to regularly review and update security policies and procedures to ensure that they remain effective in mitigating potential security risks.

Enforced Resources
Note: Remediation steps provided by Lightlytics are meant to be suggestions and guidelines only. It is crucial to thoroughly verify and test any remediation steps before applying them to production environments. Each organization's infrastructure and security needs may differ, and blindly applying suggested remediation steps without proper testing could potentially cause unforeseen issues or vulnerabilities. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you validate and customize any remediation steps to meet your organization's specific requirements and ensure that they align with your security policies and best practices.