Linting tool for CloudFormation templates

README.md


Background

The cfn-nag tool looks for patterns in CloudFormation templates that may indicate insecure infrastructure. Roughly speaking it will look for:

  • IAM rules that are too permissive (wildcards)
  • Security group rules that are too permissive (wildcards)
  • Access logs that aren't enabled
  • Encryption that isn't enabled

For more background on the tool, please see:

Finding Security Problems Early in the Development Process of a CloudFormation Template with "cfn-nag"

Installation

Presuming Ruby 2.2.x is installed, installation is just a matter of:

gem install cfn-nag

Pipeline

To run cfn_nag as an action in CodePipeline, you can deploy via the AWS Serverless Application Repository.

Usage

Pretty simple to execute:

cfn_nag_scan --input-path <path to cloudformation json>

The path can be a directory or a particular template. If it is a directory, all *.json, *.template, *.yml and *.yaml files underneath there recursively will be processed.

The default output format is free-form text, but json output can be selected with the --output-format json flag.

Optionally, a --debug flag will dump information about the internals of rule loading.

Run with --help for a full listing of supported switches.

To see a list of all the rules the cfn-nag currently supports, there is a command-line utility that will dump them to stdout:

cfn_nag_rules

Results

  • The results are dumped to stdout
  • A failing violation will return a non-zero exit code.
  • A warning will return a zero/success exit code.
  • A fatal violation stops analysis (per file) because the template is malformed in some severe way

Rule Suppression

In the event that there is a rule that you want to suppress, a cfn_nag Metadata key can be added to the affected resource to tell cfn_nag to not raise a failure or warning for that rule.

For example, if you are setting up a public-facing ELB that's open to inbound connections from the internet with resources like the following:

public_alb.yaml

# Partial template
PublicAlbSecurityGroup:
  Properties:
    GroupDescription: 'Security group for a public Application Load Balancer'
    VpcId:
      Ref: vpc
  Type: AWS::EC2::SecurityGroup
PublicAlbSecurityGroupHttpIngress:
  Properties:
    CidrIp: 0.0.0.0/0
    FromPort: 80
    GroupId:
      Ref: PublicAlbSecurityGroup
    IpProtocol: tcp
    ToPort: 80
  Type: AWS::EC2::SecurityGroupIngress

cfn_nag will raise warnings like the following:

$ cfn_nag_scan -i public_alb.yaml
------------------------------------------------------------
public_alb.yaml
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| WARN W9
|
| Resources: ["PublicAlbSecurityGroup"]
|
| Security Groups found with ingress cidr that is not /32
------------------------------------------------------------
| WARN W2
|
| Resources: ["PublicAlbSecurityGroup"]
|
| Security Groups found with cidr open to world on ingress.  This should never be true on instance.  Permissible on ELB

Failures count: 0
Warnings count: 2

By adding the metadata, these warnings can be suppressed:

public_alb_with_suppression.yaml

# Partial template
PublicAlbSecurityGroup:
  Properties:
    GroupDescription: 'Security group for a public Application Load Balancer'
    VpcId:
      Ref: vpc
  Type: AWS::EC2::SecurityGroup
  Metadata:
    cfn_nag:
      rules_to_suppress:
        - id: W9
          reason: "This is a public facing ELB and ingress from the internet should be permitted."
        - id: W2
          reason: "This is a public facing ELB and ingress from the internet should be permitted."
PublicAlbSecurityGroupHttpIngress:
  Properties:
    CidrIp: 0.0.0.0/0
    FromPort: 80
    GroupId:
      Ref: PublicAlbSecurityGroup
    IpProtocol: tcp
    ToPort: 80
  Type: AWS::EC2::SecurityGroupIngress
$ cfn_nag_scan -i public_alb_with_suppression.yaml
------------------------------------------------------------
public_alb_with_supression.yaml
------------------------------------------------------------
Failures count: 0
Warnings count: 0

Development

New Rules

To author new rules for your own use and/or community contribution, see migration.md for details.