AWS Athena you own this product

basic CloudFormation • intermediate Python • basic SQL • basic knowledge of AWS CloudTrail
skills learned
Athena • AWS CloudTrail • Boto
Eric Kascic
1 week · 6-8 hours per week · INTERMEDIATE

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QryptoTremolo, a startup that’s developing a set of next-generation financial services, has hired you to help upgrade its security. The company has set up an organizational AWS CloudTrail, which deposits all the events of QryptoTremolo’s AWS control plane, as well as some data plane, in an S3 bucket within the security account. But the events are stored in a form that doesn’t lend itself well to forensic queries. QryptoTremolo has chosen AWS Athena as a query-friendly solution. Your task is to configure AWS Athena to allow for sending advanced forensic queries to an S3 bucket filled with organizational CloudTrail events. You’ll learn how to create forensic SQL queries and issue them in a performant way across all accounts in the organization.

This project is designed for learning purposes and is not a complete, production-ready application or solution.

project author

Eric Kascic

Eric Kascic is a software developer with 25 years of professional experience. He has developed software solutions across a variety of business domains including telecommunications, medical imagery, and financial services. He has developed embedded, desktop, and server-side software, and has specialized in creating build, deployment, and test automation systems.

Since 2013, he has primarily focused on the AWS platform. At Stelligent, a boutique consulting firm that traditionally specialized in CI/CD, DevOps, and AWS automation, he developed CI/CD solutions for the AWS platforms of financial services companies. In developing infrastructure-as-code solutions, security was a primary focus. Eric invented the cfn_nag tool in 2016 to perform static analysis on CloudFormation templates to help customers prevent deploying unsecured AWS resources (such as those missing encryption or with overly permissive access).

He is currently a principal security engineer at a financial services company where he develops software to support security processes including automation of AWS IAM role creation, as well as a platform to detect and remediate insecure AWS resources across hundreds of accounts. Eric has published several articles relevant to security automation in AWS, including articles about cfn_nag, IAM, CloudFormation, and CI/CD.


This liveProject is for security engineers with intermediate experience in AWS and infrastructure as code. To begin these liveProjects you’ll need to be familiar with the following:

  • Python 3.7
  • AWS CLI 1.18
  • Bash 3
  • Basic knowledge of *nix/bash command shell
  • Basic experience with CloudFormation
  • Basic experience with the AWS CLI
  • Basic knowledge of AWS accounts and AWS Organizations
  • Basic knowledge of IAM, CloudTrial, Athena, and assuming cross-account IAM roles
  • Intermediate knowledge of Python 3 programming including: lists, dicts, loops, comprehensions, functions, conditionals
  • Basic understanding of cloud computing and the AWS platform
  • Basic understanding of infrastructure as code
  • Basic understanding of security concepts especially around forensics

Note: These exercises rely upon the AWS platform, which may carry usage costs.


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