AWS logs provide unique and crucial visibility into the activities and resources in an organization’s AWS environment.

As Cloud environments are vastly different from regular on-prem environments, many classic security products and auditing and logging mechanisms do not exist anymore in the Cloud environment as they were, which make the multiple logging mechanisms of AWS all the more important for defending an organization’s AWS environment.

Supported Data Types

  • AWS CloudTrail: logs (under the right configuration) each and every API call done in your environment, whether by a user or by system, in the AWS web console or programmatically. This datasource is required for all the detections in the AWS control plane.

  • AWS Config: which (under the right configuration) records and snapshots the configuration of each and every resource in your environment, is required for adding context to automatic investigations of threat signals detected in the control plane or data plane.

  • AWS VPC Flow Logs: are the equivalent of firewall logs in the Cloud environment, and enable detections on the network level of the virtual network in the AWS environment.

  • AWS WAF Logs


Logs and security related data generated by AWS can be integrated into Hunters using an S3 source. In order to allow Hunters to access your S3 bucket, please follow this tutorial.

Creating a Data Flow

Login into the Hunters Portal, go to the "Data Flows" section in the left bar, and click the "Add Data Flows" button.

  1. In the Product box, select AWS

  2. In the Source box, select AWS S3

  3. Paste the Role ARN from the prerequisites section in the Hunters Add Data Flow wizard.

  4. Choose the specific Data Type you wish to add.

  5. For each Data Type, fill in the appropriate File PrefixFile Format and S3 Bucket Name according to the table below. After inputting the appropriate values, test the connection and click Submit.

Data Type

File Prefix

File Format



AWS Format

Config Snapshot


AWS Format

VPC Flow Logs


CSV with Header

Guard Duty



ELB Access Logs


CSV with Header


<Depends on Firehose configuration>


Configuring AWS Config within AWS

Config configuration guidelines and recommendations

AWS Config has several features, of them only one is the interesting one for Hunters, which is logging of resource configurations.

In order to configure AWS Config in the optimal way for Hunters, two steps are required:

  1. Enabling AWS Config

  2. Enabling periodic configuration snapshot delivery

This needs to be done per region, for every AWS account, for maximal coverage.

Enabling AWS Config

This step enables AWS Config for the region.

  1. Browse to the AWS Config service.

  2. Press "Get started".

  3. On the next window:

    • Under "General settings"

      • Leave the default "Record all resources supported in this region" selected (this is important for data comprehensiveness)

      • Select the "Include global resources (e.g., AWS IAM resources)"

      • For AWS Config role, pick your preferred role permissions (by default, AWS will generate a role for you)

    • Under "Delivery method"

      • For Amazon S3 bucket, pick the bucket you wish to send Config logs to (either an existing bucket or a new one)

        • If you pick an existing bucket, you must make sure the bucket's policy allows the role to write logs to it.

  4. On the next window (Rules), press Next without selecting anything.

  5. Press Confirm.

  6. After ~1 minute, Config should be enabled for the region.

    • After some ~20-30 minutes, ConfigHistory files should start being logged to the S3 destination you picked. However, this is not enough, as configuration snapshot delivery must also be configured (see below).

  7. You may later enter the Settings tab in the Config service and modify the data retention period for which the Config files are stored.

    • The default retention period is 7 years, but this is less critical for Hunters, as we ingest data in close to real-time.

    • This can be modified to whichever retention period you wish (but must be at least two days).

Enabling periodic configuration snapshot delivery

This step is required in order for AWS to periodically write configuration snapshots of all resources to S3. This data is essential for adding context to automatic investigations of threat signals detected in the control plane or data plane.

Unfortunately, this can not be configured through the AWS web console, so you need to manually configure this using AWS CLI.

  1. The following command shows the existing delivery channel configuration:

    aws --region <REGION> configservice describe-delivery-channels

  2. You should see something like:

        "DeliveryChannels": [
                "name": "default",
                "s3BucketName": "<CONFIG_BUCKET_NAME>"
  3. You then need to call put-delivery-channel, with all the parameters that are already configured as shown above, and an additional parameter with the frequency with which AWS Config should take the resource configuration snapshots.

    • An example command looks like:

      aws --region <REGION> configservice put-delivery-channel —delivery-channel name="default",s3BucketName="<CONFIG_BUCKET_NAME>",configSnapshotDeliveryProperties={deliveryFrequency="TwentyFour_Hours"}

    • If your existing delivery channel configuration also contained any of the variables s3KeyPrefixs3KmsKeyArn or snsTopicARN, you must also pass them in the put-delivery-channel command, otherwise they will be disabled.

    • The possible values for deliveryFrequency are:

      • One_Hour

      • Three_Hours

      • Six_Hours

      • Twelve_Hours

      • TwentyFour_Hours

    • It is up to you which frequency to pick. This represents a tradeoff between AWS costs and accuracy (and "freshness") of the resource configurations that will be fetched by Hunters’ auto-investigation for resources that appear in AWS-related leads.
      Setting it to One_Hour will incur the highest AWS costs (as the pricing is per configuration recorded), but will allow the auto-investigation to fetch the most recent configuration seen for a resource. Setting it to TwentyFour_Hours, on the other hand, will incur the lowest AWS costs, but will cause the auto-investigation to fetch a configuration snapshot from up to a day back, which might be outdated.
      To prevent undesired or unplanned costs, we recommend starting with TwentyFour_Hours, and optionally increasing the frequency later on.

  4. After the command successfully runs, ConfigSnapshot files will start being written to S3 periodically.

Notice ⚠️

The above process only enables Config (and sets up ConfigSnapshot file delivery) for a specific region! This needs to be repeated across all regions for maximal coverage.

Log Samples

EC2 Log Example

{"Records": [{ "eventVersion": "1.0", "userIdentity": { "type": "IAMUser", "principalId": "EX_PRINCIPAL_ID", "arn": "arn:aws:iam::123456789012:user/Alice", "accessKeyId": "EXAMPLE_KEY_ID", "accountId": "123456789012", "userName": "Alice" }, "eventTime": "2014-03-06T21:22:54Z", "eventSource": "ec2.amazonaws.com", "eventName": "StartInstances", "awsRegion": "us-east-2", "sourceIPAddress": "", "userAgent": "ec2-api-tools", "requestParameters": {"instancesSet": {"items": [{"instanceId": "i-ebeaf9e2"}]}}, "responseElements": {"instancesSet": {"items": [{ "instanceId": "i-ebeaf9e2", "currentState": { "code": 0, "name": "pending" }, "previousState": { "code": 80, "name": "stopped" } }]}} }]}

IAM Log Example

{"Records": [{ "eventVersion": "1.0", "userIdentity": { "type": "IAMUser", "principalId": "EX_PRINCIPAL_ID", "arn": "arn:aws:iam::123456789012:user/Alice", "accountId": "123456789012", "accessKeyId": "EXAMPLE_KEY_ID", "userName": "Alice" }, "eventTime": "2014-03-24T21:11:59Z", "eventSource": "iam.amazonaws.com", "eventName": "CreateUser", "awsRegion": "us-east-2", "sourceIPAddress": "", "userAgent": "aws-cli/1.3.2 Python/2.7.5 Windows/7", "requestParameters": {"userName": "Bob"}, "responseElements": {"user": { "createDate": "Mar 24, 2014 9:11:59 PM", "userName": "Bob", "arn": "arn:aws:iam::123456789012:user/Bob", "path": "/", "userId": "EXAMPLEUSERID" }} }]}