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InSpec AWS Resource Pack
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Obvious fix; these changes are the result of automation not creative thinking.
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InSpec for AWS

  • Project State: Maintained

For more information on project states and SLAs, see this documentation.

This InSpec resource pack uses the AWS Ruby SDK v3 and provides the required resources to write tests for resources in AWS.


AWS Credentials

Valid AWS credentials are required, see AWS Documentation)

There are multiple ways to set AWS credentials as shown below:

1) Environment Variables

Set your AWS credentials in an .envrc file or export them in your shell. (See example .envrc file)

    # Example configuration
    export AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY="vD2lfoNvPdwsofqyuO9jRuWUkZIMqisdfeFmkHTy7ON+w"
    export AWS_REGION="eu-west-3"
    export AWS_AVAILABILITY_ZONE="eu-west-3a"  

2) Configuration File

Set your AWS credentials in ~/.aws/config and ~/.aws/credentials file. (See example aws configure credentials)

Example ~/.aws/credentials :


Example ~/.aws/config :


AWS SDK will select the default credentials unless aws_profile is set in an .envrc

    # Example configuration
    export AWS_PROFILE="engineering"
The credentials precedence is:
  1. Credentials set in .envrc OR as an Environment variable.
  2. Credentials set in ~/.aws/credentials AND ~/.aws/config AND AWS_PROFILE set as an Environment variable.
  3. Credentials set in ~/.aws/credentials AND ~/.aws/config AND AWS_PROFILE is NOT set as an Environment variable. Default credentials will be used.

Assuming an IAM role

Assuming an IAM role allows an IAM user to gain additional/different permissions to perform actions in a different AWS account. (See example aws configure IAM role)


   [profile example_profile]
   role_arn = arn:aws:iam::123456789012:role/example_profile
   source_profile = user1


Each resource will require specific permissions to perform the operations required for testing. For example, to test an AWS EC2 instance, your service principal will require the ec2:DescribeInstances and iam:GetInstanceProfile permissions. You can find a comprehensive list of each resource's required permissions in the documentation.

Use the Resources

Since this is an InSpec resource pack, it only defines InSpec resources. It includes example tests only. To easily use the AWS resources in your tests do the following:

$ inspec init profile my-profile

Example inspec.yml:

name: my-profile
title: My own AWS profile
version: 0.1.0
inspec_version: '>= 4.6.9'
  - name: inspec-aws
  - platform: aws

(For available inspec-aws versions, see this list of inspec-aws versions.)

Add some tests and run the profile via:

$ inspec exec my-profile -t aws://

Resource documentation

This resouce pack allows the testing of the following AWS resources. If a resource you wish to test is not listed, please feel free to open an Issue. As an open source project, we also welcome public contributions via Pull Request.


Ensure Security Groups Disallow FTP

For disallowing FTP we check that there is no ingress from on port 21. The below sample control loops across all regions, checking all security groups for the account:

title 'Test AWS Security Groups Across All Regions For an Account Disallow FTP'

control 'aws-multi-region-security-group-ftp-1.0' do

  impact 1.0
  title 'Ensure AWS Security Groups disallow FTP ingress from'

  aws_regions.region_names.each do |region|
    aws_security_groups(aws_region: region).group_ids.each do |security_group_id|
      describe aws_security_group(aws_region: region, group_id: security_group_id) do
        it { should exist }
        it { should_not allow_in(ipv4_range: '', port: 21) }

Test that an EC2 instance is running & using the correct AMI

    describe aws_ec2_instance(name: 'ProdWebApp') do
      it              { should be_running }
      its('image_id') { should eq 'ami-27a58d5c' }

Ensure all AWS Users have MFA enabled

    describe aws_iam_users.where( has_mfa_enabled: false) do
      it { should_not exist }

Properties Applying to All InSpec AWS Resources


In order to provide multi-region support, the aws_region property may be specified to a resource. This will only have an effect on AWS resources that have a region dependency e.g. security groups. One special-case worth mentioning is the aws_s3_bucket resource that updates its region based on the location returned from S3.

The aws_regions resource can be used to loop across all regions e.g.

  aws_regions.region_names.each do |region|
    <use region in other resources here>


A custom endpoint URL can optionally be specified to resources for testing other compatible providers. This propagates to the AWS client configuration. An example is provided below for Minio S3 compatible buckets e.g.

title 'Test For  Minio Buckets Existing at a Custom Endpoint'

endpoint = attribute(:minio_server, default: '', description: 'The Minio server custom endpoint.')

control 'minio-buckets-1.0' do
  impact 1.0
  title 'Ensure Minio buckets exist.'

  describe aws_s3_bucket(aws_endpoint: endpoint, bucket_name: 'miniobucket') do
    it { should exist }

  describe aws_s3_bucket(aws_endpoint: endpoint, bucket_name: 'notthere') do
    it { should_not exist }

Note that InSpec AWS assumes full compatibility with the underlying AWS SDK and unsupported operations will cause failures. Therefore, depending on the external provider implementation your mileage may vary!

aws_retry_limit and aws_retry_backoff

In certain cases AWS may implement rate limiting. In order to mitigate this issue the Retry Limit and Retry Backoff can be set in two ways:

1) Environment Variables

Setting AWS_RETRY_LIMIT and AWS_RETRY_BACKOFF environment variables will be implemented at session level.

   export AWS_RETRY_LMIIT=5
   export aws_retry_limit=5

Note environment variables are case insensitive.

2) Inspec Control

Inspec AWS resources now support setting the Retry Limit and Retry Backoff at control level as shown below.

  describe aws_config_recorder(recorder_name: aws_config_recorder_name, aws_retry_limit=5, aws_retry_backoff=5) do
    it { should exist }
    its('recorder_name') { should eq aws_config_recorder_name }

#####The aws_retry_limit and aws_retry_backoff precedence:

  1. Set at Inspec control level.
  2. Set at Environment level.

Retry Limit and Retry Backoff documentation

Environment and Setup Notes

Train and InSpec Dependencies

At the time of writing, this Resource Pack's Inspec and Train dependencies are ahead of the latest releases. This is the case until these dependencies target v3 of the AWS SDK for Ruby.

In order to use the latest SDK the aws-sdk version, we pin to a Github Branch on each of these repositories in our Gemfile.

gem 'train', :git => '', :branch => 'sp/update-aws-sdk-3'
gem 'inspec', :git => '', :branch => 'sp/remove-aws-resources'

The branched InSpec version has all AWS components removed.
The branched Train version is upgraded to SDK version 3 to avoid the above conflict.

Running a Sample Profile Using Docker

A Dockerfile is provided in the root of this resource pack repository.

cd inspec-aws
docker build -t inspec-aws -f Dockerfile .
docker run -it inspec-aws /bin/bash
export AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=<your creds here>
export AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=<your creds here>
bundle exec inspec exec sample_profile -t aws://

If successful, output similar to this should be seen:

# bundle exec inspec exec sample_profile -t aws://

Profile: AWS InSpec Profile (InSpec AWS Sample Profile)
Version: 0.1.0
Target:  aws://us-east-1

  ✔  aws-vpcs-multi-region-status-check: Check AWS VPCs in all regions have status "available"
     ✔  VPC vpc-1234abcd in eu-north-1 should exist
     ✔  VPC vpc-1234abcd in eu-north-1 should be available
<curtailing> ...

Profile: Amazon Web Services  Resource Pack (inspec-aws)
Version: 0.1.0
Target:  aws://us-east-1

     No tests executed.

Profile Summary: 1 successful control, 0 control failures, 0 controls skipped
Test Summary: 50 successful, 0 failures, 0 skipped

Running the unit and integration tests

Run the linting and unit tests via the below:

$ bundle exec rake
Running RuboCop...
Inspecting 2 files

2 files inspected, no offenses detected
/Users/spaterson/.rubies/ruby-2.4.3/bin/ruby -I"lib:libraries:test/unit" -I"/Users/spaterson/.rubies/ruby-2.4.3/lib/ruby/gems/2.4.0/gems/rake-12.3.1/lib" "/Users/spaterson/.rubies/ruby-2.4.3/lib/ruby/gems/2.4.0/gems/rake-12.3.1/lib/rake/rake_test_loader.rb" "test/unit/resources/aws_vpc_test.rb"
Run options: --seed 64195

# Running:


Fabulous run in 0.253300s, 67.1141 runs/s, 51.3225 assertions/s.

17 runs, 13 assertions, 0 failures, 0 errors, 0 skips
bundle exec inspec check /Users/spaterson/Documents/workspace/aws/inspec-aws
Location:    /Users/spaterson/Documents/workspace/aws/inspec-aws
Profile:     inspec-aws
Controls:    0
Timestamp:   2018-11-29T15:02:33+00:00
Valid:       true

  !  No controls or tests were defined.

Summary:     0 errors, 1 warnings

Running the integration tests (after init_workspace and setup_integration_tests):

$ bundle exec rake test:run_integration_tests
----> Run
bundle exec inspec exec test/integration/verify --attrs test/integration/build/aws-inspec-attributes.yaml; rc=$?; if [ $rc -eq 0 ] || [ $rc -eq 101 ]; then exit 0; else exit 1; fi

Profile: Amazon Web Services  Resource Pack (inspec-aws)
Version: 0.1.0
Target:  aws://eu-west-2

  ✔  aws-vpc-1.0: Ensure AWS VPC has the correct properties.
     ✔  VPC vpc-0373aeb7284407ffd should exist
     ✔  VPC vpc-0373aeb7284407ffd should not be default
     ✔  VPC vpc-0373aeb7284407ffd cidr_block should eq ""
     ✔  VPC vpc-0373aeb7284407ffd instance_tenancy should eq "dedicated"
     ✔  VPC vpc-0373aeb7284407ffd vpc_id should eq "vpc-0373aeb7284407ffd"
     ✔  VPC vpc-0373aeb7284407ffd state should eq "available"
     ✔  VPC vpc-0373aeb7284407ffd dhcp_options_id should eq "dopt-f557819d"
     ✔  VPC default should exist
     ✔  VPC default should be default
     ✔  VPC default vpc_id should eq "vpc-1ea06476"
     ✔  VPC vpc-0373aeb7284407ffd should exist
     ✔  VPC vpc-0373aeb7284407ffd should not be default
     ✔  VPC vpc-0373aeb7284407ffd vpc_id should eq "vpc-0373aeb7284407ffd"

Profile: Amazon Web Services  Resource Pack (inspec-aws)
Version: 0.1.0
Target:  aws://eu-west-2

     No tests executed.

Profile Summary: 50 successful controls, 0 control failures, 3 controls skipped
Test Summary: 602 successful, 0 failures, 18 skipped


Failure running "inspec exec" on my AWS profile

If an error such occurs when running "inspec exec" on a newly created AWS profile, check that the AWS transport is being specified as below:

$ inspec exec . -t aws://


The InSpec AWS resources are community supported. For bugs and features, please open a github issue and label it appropriately.


This work builds on the InSpec 2 AWS resources that were originally shipped as part of InSpec.

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