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Researchers Uncover AWS SSM Agent Misuse as a Covert Remote Access Trojan

August 2, 2023

Cybersecurity researchers have discovered a new post-exploitation technique in Amazon Web Services (AWS) that allows the AWS Systems Manager Agent (SSM Agent) to be run as a remote access trojan on Windows and Linux environments

“The SSM agent, a legitimate tool used by admins to manage their instances, can be re-purposed by an attacker who has achieved high privilege access on an endpoint with SSM agent installed, to carry out malicious activities on an ongoing basis,” Mitiga researchers Ariel Szarf and Or Aspir said in a report shared with The Hacker News.

“This allows an attacker who has compromised a machine, hosted on AWS or anywhere else, to maintain access to it and perform various malicious activities.”

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