Amazon Simple Notification Service
Developer Guide (API Version 2010-03-31)

Controlling User Access to Your AWS Account

Amazon Simple Notification Service integrates with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) so that you can specify which Amazon SNS actions a user in your AWS account can perform with Amazon SNS resources. You can specify a particular topic in the policy. For example, you could use variables when creating an IAM policy that gives certain users in your organization permission to use the Publish action with specific topics in your AWS account. For more information, see Policy Variables in the Using IAM guide.


Using Amazon SNS with IAM doesn't change how you use Amazon SNS. There are no changes to Amazon SNS actions, and no new Amazon SNS actions related to users and access control.

For examples of policies that cover Amazon SNS actions and resources, see Example Policies for Amazon SNS.

IAM and Amazon SNS Policies Together

You use an IAM policy to restrict your users' access to Amazon SNS actions and topics. An IAM policy can restrict access only to users within your AWS account, not to other AWS accounts.

You use an Amazon SNS policy with a particular topic to restrict who can work with that topic (e.g., who can publish messages to it, who can subscribe to it, etc.). Amazon SNS policies can give access to other AWS accounts, or to users within your own AWS account.

To give your users permissions for your Amazon SNS topics, you can use IAM policies, Amazon SNS policies, or both. For the most part, you can achieve the same results with either. For example, the following diagram shows an IAM policy and an Amazon SNS policy that are equivalent. The IAM policy allows the Amazon SNS Subscribe action for the topic called topic_xyz in your AWS account. The IAM policy is attached to the users Bob and Susan (which means that Bob and Susan have the permissions stated in the policy). The Amazon SNS policy likewise gives Bob and Susan permission to access Subscribe for topic_xyz.

				Equivalent IAM and Amazon SNS policies


The preceding example shows simple policies with no conditions. You could specify a particular condition in either policy and get the same result.

There is one difference between AWS IAM and Amazon SNS policies: The Amazon SNS policy system lets you grant permission to other AWS accounts, whereas the IAM policy doesn't.

It's up to you how you use both of the systems together to manage your permissions, based on your needs. The following examples show how the two policy systems work together.

Example 1

In this example, both an IAM policy and an Amazon SNS policy apply to Bob. The IAM policy gives him permission for Subscribe on any of the AWS account's topics, whereas the Amazon SNS policy gives him permission to use Publish on a specific topic (topic_xyz). The following diagram illustrates the concept.

					IAM and Amazon SNS policies for Bob

If Bob were to send a request to subscribe to any topic in the AWS account, the IAM policy would allow the action. If Bob were to send a request to publish a message to topic_xyz, the Amazon SNS policy would allow the action.

Example 2

In this example, we build on example 1 (where Bob has two policies that apply to him). Let's say that Bob publishes messages to topic_xyz that he shouldn't have, so you want to entirely remove his ability to publish to topics. The easiest thing to do is to add an IAM policy that denies him access to the Publish action on all topics. This third policy overrides the Amazon SNS policy that originally gave him permission to publish to topic_xyz, because an explicit deny always overrides an allow (for more information about policy evaluation logic, see Evaluation Logic). The following diagram illustrates the concept.

					The "Deny" policy overrides the Amazon SNS policy

For examples of policies that cover Amazon SNS actions and resources, see Example Policies for Amazon SNS. For more information about writing Amazon SNS policies, go to the technical documentation for Amazon SNS.

Amazon SNS ARNs

For Amazon SNS, topics are the only resource type you can specify in a policy. Following is the Amazon Resource Name (ARN) format for topics.


For more information about ARNs, go to ARNs in IAM User Guide.

Following is an ARN for a topic named my_topic in the us-east-1 region, belonging to AWS account 123456789012.


If you had a topic named my_topic in each of the different Regions that Amazon SNS supports, you could specify the topics with the following ARN.


You can use * and ? wildcards in the topic name. For example, the following could refer to all the topics created by Bob that he has prefixed with bob_.


As a convenience to you, when you create a topic, Amazon SNS returns the topic's ARN in the response.

Amazon SNS Actions

In an IAM policy, you can specify any actions that Amazon SNS offers. However, the ConfirmSubscription and Unsubscribe actions do not require authentication, which means that even if you specify those actions in a policy, IAM won't restrict users' access to those actions.

Each action you specify in a policy must be prefixed with the lowercase string sns:. To specify all Amazon SNS actions, for example, you would use sns:*. For a list of the actions, go to the Amazon Simple Notification Service API Reference.

Amazon SNS Keys

Amazon SNS implements the following AWS-wide policy keys, plus some service-specific keys.

For a list of context keys supported by each AWS service and a list of AWS-wide policy keys, see AWS Service Actions and Condition Context Keys and Available Keys for Conditions in the IAM User Guide.

Amazon SNS uses the following service-specific keys. Use these keys in policies that restrict access to Subscribe requests.

  • sns:Endpoint—The URL, email address, or ARN from a Subscribe request or a previously confirmed subscription. Use with string conditions (see Example Policies for Amazon SNS) to restrict access to specific endpoints (e.g., *

  • sns:Protocol—The protocol value from a Subscribe request or a previously confirmed subscription. Use with string conditions (see Example Policies for Amazon SNS) to restrict publication to specific delivery protocols (e.g., https).

Example Policies for Amazon SNS

This section shows several simple policies for controlling user access to Amazon SNS.


In the future, Amazon SNS might add new actions that should logically be included in one of the following policies, based on the policy’s stated goals.

Example 1: Allow a group to create and manage topics

In this example, we create a policy that gives access to CreateTopic, ListTopics, SetTopicAttributes, and DeleteTopic.

{ "Version":"2012-10-17", "Statement":[{ "Effect":"Allow", "Action":["sns:CreateTopic","sns:ListTopics","sns:SetTopicAttributes","sns:DeleteTopic"], "Resource":"*" } ] }

Example 2: Allow the IT group to publish messages to a particular topic

In this example, we create a group for IT, and assign a policy that gives access to Publish on the specific topic of interest.

{ "Version":"2012-10-17", "Statement":[{ "Effect":"Allow", "Action":"sns:Publish", "Resource":"arn:aws:sns:*:123456789012:topic_xyz" } ] }

Example 3: Give users in the AWS account ability to subscribe to topics

In this example, we create a policy that gives access to the Subscribeaction, with string matching conditions for the sns:Protocol and sns:Endpoint policy keys.

{ "Version":"2012-10-17", "Statement":[{ "Effect":"Allow", "Action":["sns:Subscribe"], "Resource":"*", "Condition":{ "StringLike": { "SNS:Endpoint":"*" }, "StringEquals":{ "sns:Protocol":"email" } } } ] }

Example 4: Allow a partner to publish messages to a particular topic

You can use an Amazon SNS policy or an IAM policy to allow a partner to publish to a specific topic. If your partner has an AWS account, it might be easier to use an Amazon SNS policy. However, anyone in the partner's company who possesses the AWS security credentials could publish messages to the topic. This example assumes that you want to limit access to a particular person (or application). To do this you need to treat the partner like a user within your own company, and use a IAM policy instead of an Amazon SNS policy.

For this example, we create a group called WidgetCo that represents the partner company; we create a user for the specific person (or application) at the partner company who needs access; and then we put the user in the group.

We then attach a policy that gives the group Publish access on the specific topic named WidgetPartnerTopic.

We also want to prevent the WidgetCo group from doing anything else with topics, so we add a statement that denies permission to any Amazon SNS actions other than Publish on any topics other than WidgetPartnerTopic. This is necessary only if there's a broad policy elsewhere in the system that gives users wide access to Amazon SNS.

{ "Version":"2012-10-17", "Statement":[{ "Effect":"Allow", "Action":"sns:Publish", "Resource":"arn:aws:sns:*:123456789012:WidgetPartnerTopic" }, { "Effect":"Deny", "NotAction":"sns:Publish", "NotResource":"arn:aws:sns:*:123456789012:WidgetPartnerTopic" } ] }

Using Temporary Security Credentials

In addition to creating IAM users with their own security credentials, IAM also enables you to grant temporary security credentials to any user allowing this user to access your AWS services and resources. You can manage users who have AWS accounts; these users are IAM users. You can also manage users for your system who do not have AWS accounts; these users are called federated users. Additionally, "users" can also be applications that you create to access your AWS resources.

You can use these temporary security credentials in making requests to Amazon SNS. The API libraries compute the necessary signature value using those credentials to authenticate your request. If you send requests using expired credentials Amazon SNS denies the request.

For more information about IAM support for temporary security credentials, go to Granting Temporary Access to Your AWS Resources in Using IAM.

Example Using Temporary Security Credentials to Authenticate an Amazon SNS Request

The following example demonstrates how to obtain temporary security credentials to authenticate an Amazon SNS request.

Copy ?Name=My-Topic &Action=CreateTopic &Signature=gfzIF53exFVdpSNb8AiwN3Lv%2FNYXh6S%2Br3yySK70oX4%3D &SignatureVersion=2 &SignatureMethod=HmacSHA256 &Timestamp=2010-03-31T12%3A00%3A00.000Z &SecurityToken=SecurityTokenValue &AWSAccessKeyId=Access Key ID provided by AWS Security Token Service