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AWS ACM Certificates Renewal (7 days before expiration)

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Security

Risk level: High (not acceptable risk)

Ensure that your SSL/TLS certificates managed by AWS ACM are renewed 7 days before their validity period ends. Certificate Manager is the AWS service that lets you easily provision, manage, and deploy SSL/TLS certificates for use with other AWS resources such as Elastic Load Balancers, CloudFront distributions or APIs on Amazon API Gateway.

When Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS) certificates are not renewed prior to their expiration date, they become invalid and the communication between the client and the AWS resource that implements the certificates (e.g. Cloudfront distribution) is no longer secure. Note: AWS Certificate Manager automatically renews certificates issued by the service that are used with other AWS resources. However, the ACM service does not renew automatically certificates that are not in use (i.e. not associated anymore with other AWS resources) so the renewal process must be done manually before these certificates become invalid. This conformity rules explains how to implement manually the renewal process 7 days before expiration.

Audit

To determine if there are any AWS ACM certificates that are about to expire in 7 days, available in you AWS account, perform the following:

Using AWS Console

01 Sign in to the AWS Management Console.

02 Navigate to AWS ACM dashboard at https://console.aws.amazon.com/acm/.

03 Select the SSL/TLS certificate that you want to examine and click on the Show/Hide Details button:

Show/Hide Details

to expand the panel with the certificate details.

04 Inside the Details section, verify the certificate expiration information (i.e. number of days remaining) displayed as value for the Expires in attribute:

Expires in

If the Expires in attribute value is set to 7 Days, the selected SSL/TLS certificate is about to expire in one week and must be renewed as soon as possible (see Remediation/Resolution section for the renewal process).

05 Repeat step no. 3 and 4 to check other SSL/TLS certificates that are about to expire soon, managed by AWS ACM within the current region.

06 Change the AWS region from the navigation bar and repeat the audit process for other regions.

Using AWS CLI

01 Run list-certificates command (OSX/Linux/UNIX) using built-in query filters to list all issued SSL/TLS certificates managed by AWS ACM service, available in the selected region:

aws acm list-certificates
	--region us-east-1
	--certificate-statuses ISSUED

02 The command output should return the metadata (domain name and ARN) for all issued (validated) AWS ACM certificates currently available in the US East (N. Virginia) region:

{

    "CertificateSummaryList": [
        {
            "CertificateArn": "arn:aws:acm:us-east-1:1234567890:
             certificate/F1c6999d-b027-4449-9694-55ce71b3655C",
            "DomainName": "cloudconformity.com"
        }
    ]
}

03 Run describe-certificate command (OSX/Linux/UNIX) using the ARN of the certificate returned at the previous step as identifier and custom query filters to return the timestamp (UNIX format) of the expiration date for the selected certificate:

aws acm describe-certificate
	--region us-east-1
	--certificate-arn arn:aws:acm:us-east-1:1234567890:certificate/F1c6999d-b027-4449-9694-55ce71b3655C
	--query 'Certificate.NotAfter'

04 The command output should return the timestamp of the expiration date for the selected certificate:

1490140799

05 Now run date command (Linux/UNIX) using the timestamp value returned at the previous step to convert it to a human readable date value:

date -d @1490140799

06 The command output should return the requested date in human readable format (UTC time):

Tue Mar 21 23:59:59 UTC 2017

If the date returned is 7 days from the checkup date, the selected SSL/TLS certificate is about to expire soon and must be renewed as quickly as possible (see Remediation/Resolution section for the renewal process).

07 Repeat steps no. 3 – 6 to check other SSL/TLS certificates that are about to expire soon, managed by AWS ACM within the current region.

08 Change the AWS region by updating the --region command parameter value and repeat the entire audit process for other regions.

Remediation / Resolution

To renew any SSL/TLS certificates that are about to expire using AWS Certificate Manager service, perform the following:

Note: The renewal process outlined below can be implemented only for imported SSL/TLS certificate currently managed by AWS ACM service.

Using AWS Console

01 Sign in to the AWS Management Console.

02 Navigate to AWS ACM dashboard at https://console.aws.amazon.com/acm/.

03 Select the SSL/TLS certificate that is about to expire in 7 days (see Audit section part I to identify the right certificate).

04 Click the Actions button from the dashboard top menu and select Reimport certificate option from the dropdown menu.

05 On the Import a certificate page, perform the following actions:

  1. For Certificate body*, paste the PEM-encoded certificate to import, purchased from your SSL certificate provider.
  2. For Certificate private key*, paste the PEM-encoded, unencrypted private key that matches the SSL/TLS certificate public key.
  3. (Optional) For Certificate chain, paste the PEM-encoded certificate chain delivered with the certificate body specified at step a.
  4. Click Review and import button to continue the process.

06 On the Review and import page, review the imported certificate details then click Import to confirm the action and complete the renewal process.

07 Repeat steps no. 3 – 6 to renew other certificates that are about to expire soon, managed by AWS ACM in the selected region.

08 Change the AWS region from the navigation bar and repeat the process for other regions.

Using AWS CLI

01 Run import-certificate command (OSX/Linux/UNIX) using the ARN of the SSL/TLS certificate that you want to renew as identifier (see Audit section part II to get the right resource ARN) to import and replace (renew) the selected AWS ACM certificate. The certificate to import (--certificate parameter value), the private key (--private-key value) and the certificate chain (--certificate-chain value), must be PEM-encoded:

aws acm import-certificate
	--region us-east-1
	--certificate-arn arn:aws:acm:us-east-1:1234567890:certificate/F1c6999d-b027-4449-9694-55ce71b3655C
	--certificate NDDFdTCuBF2gAw...
	--private-key NDDEvgIBADaNCk...
	--certificate-chain NDDETeCAzWAwIy...

02 The command output should return the ARN of the renewed SSL/TLS certificate:

{
    "CertificateArn": "arn:aws:acm:us-east-1:1234567890:
                       certificate/F1c6999d-b027-4449-9694-55ce71b3655C"
}

03 Repeat step no. 1 and 2 to renew other certificates that are about to expire soon, managed by AWS ACM service in the selected region.

04 Change the AWS region by updating the --region command parameter value and repeat the entire process for other regions.

References

Publication date May 2, 2017