Logging AWS Systems Manager API calls with AWS CloudTrail - AWS Systems Manager

Logging AWS Systems Manager API calls with AWS CloudTrail

AWS Systems Manager is integrated with AWS CloudTrail, a service that provides a record of actions taken by a user, role, or an AWS service. CloudTrail captures all API calls for Systems Manager as events. The calls captured include calls from the Systems Manager console and code calls to the Systems Manager API operations. Using the information collected by CloudTrail, you can determine the request that was made to Systems Manager, the IP address from which the request was made, when it was made, and additional details.

Every event or log entry contains information about who generated the request. The identity information helps you determine the following:

  • Whether the request was made with root user or user credentials.

  • Whether the request was made on behalf of an IAM Identity Center user.

  • Whether the request was made with temporary security credentials for a role or federated user.

  • Whether the request was made by another AWS service.

CloudTrail is active in your AWS account when you create the account and you automatically have access to the CloudTrail Event history. The CloudTrail Event history provides a viewable, searchable, downloadable, and immutable record of the past 90 days of recorded management events in an AWS Region. For more information, see Working with CloudTrail Event history in the AWS CloudTrail User Guide. There are no CloudTrail charges for viewing the Event history.

For an ongoing record of events in your AWS account past 90 days, create a trail or a CloudTrail Lake event data store.

CloudTrail trails

A trail enables CloudTrail to deliver log files to an Amazon S3 bucket. All trails created using the AWS Management Console are multi-Region. You can create a single-Region or a multi-Region trail by using the AWS CLI. Creating a multi-Region trail is recommended because you capture activity in all AWS Regions in your account. If you create a single-Region trail, you can view only the events logged in the trail's AWS Region. For more information about trails, see Creating a trail for your AWS account and Creating a trail for an organization in the AWS CloudTrail User Guide.

You can deliver one copy of your ongoing management events to your Amazon S3 bucket at no charge from CloudTrail by creating a trail, however, there are Amazon S3 storage charges. For more information about CloudTrail pricing, see AWS CloudTrail Pricing. For information about Amazon S3 pricing, see Amazon S3 Pricing.

CloudTrail Lake event data stores

CloudTrail Lake lets you run SQL-based queries on your events. CloudTrail Lake converts existing events in row-based JSON format to Apache ORC format. ORC is a columnar storage format that is optimized for fast retrieval of data. Events are aggregated into event data stores, which are immutable collections of events based on criteria that you select by applying advanced event selectors. The selectors that you apply to an event data store control which events persist and are available for you to query. For more information about CloudTrail Lake, see Working with AWS CloudTrail Lake in the AWS CloudTrail User Guide.

CloudTrail Lake event data stores and queries incur costs. When you create an event data store, you choose the pricing option you want to use for the event data store. The pricing option determines the cost for ingesting and storing events, and the default and maximum retention period for the event data store. For more information about CloudTrail pricing, see AWS CloudTrail Pricing.

Systems Manager data events in CloudTrail

Data events provide information about the resource operations performed on or in a resource (for example, creating or opening a control channel). These are also known as data plane operations. Data events are often high-volume activities. By default, CloudTrail doesn’t log data events. The CloudTrail Event history doesn't record data events.

Additional charges apply for data events. For more information about CloudTrail pricing, see AWS CloudTrail Pricing.

You can log data events for the Systems Manager resource types by using the CloudTrail console, AWS CLI, or CloudTrail API operations. For more information about how to log data events, see Logging data events with the AWS Management Console and Logging data events with the AWS Command Line Interface in the AWS CloudTrail User Guide.

The following table lists the Systems Manager resource types for which you can log data events. The Data event type (console) column shows the value to choose from the Data event type list on the CloudTrail console. The resources.type value column shows the resources.type value, which you would specify when configuring advanced event selectors using the AWS CLI or CloudTrail APIs. The Data APIs logged to CloudTrail column shows the API calls logged to CloudTrail for the resource type.

Data event type (console) resources.type value Data APIs logged to CloudTrail
Systems Manager AWS::SSMMessages::ControlChannel
  • CreateControlChannel

  • OpenControlChannel

For more information about these operations, see Actions defined by Amazon Message Gateway Service in the Service Authorization Reference.

Systems Manager managed node AWS::SSM::ManagedNode
  • RequestManagedInstanceRoleToken – This event is generated when the Systems Manager Agent (SSM Agent) running on a node managed by Systems Manager requests credentials from the Systems Manager credential service.

For more information about the RequestManagedInstanceRoleToken operation, see Validating hybrid-activated machines using a hardware fingerprint

You can configure advanced event selectors to filter on the eventName, readOnly, and resources.ARN fields to log only those events that are important to you. For more information about these fields, see AdvancedFieldSelector in the AWS CloudTrail API Reference.

Systems Manager management events in CloudTrail

Management events provide information about management operations that are performed on resources in your AWS account. These are also known as control plane operations. By default, CloudTrail logs management events.

Systems Manager logs all control plane operations to CloudTrail as management events. Systems Manager API operations are documented in the AWS Systems Manager API Reference. For example, calls to the CreateMaintenanceWindows, PutInventory, SendCommand, and StartSession actions generate entries in the CloudTrail log files. For an example of setting up CloudTrail to monitor a Systems Manager API call, see Monitoring session activity using Amazon EventBridge (console).

Systems Manager event examples

An event represents a single request from any source and includes information about the requested API operation, the date and time of the operation, request parameters, and so on. CloudTrail log files aren't an ordered stack trace of the public API calls, so events don't appear in any specific order.

Management event examples

Example 1: DeleteDocument

The following example shows a CloudTrail event that demonstrates the DeleteDocument operation on a document named example-Document in the US East (Ohio) Region (us-east-2).

{ "eventVersion": "1.04", "userIdentity": { "type": "AssumedRole", "principalId": "AKIAI44QH8DHBEXAMPLE:203.0.113.11", "arn": "arn:aws:sts::123456789012:assumed-role/example-role/203.0.113.11", "accountId": "123456789012", "accessKeyId": "AKIAIOSFODNN7EXAMPLE", "sessionContext": { "attributes": { "mfaAuthenticated": "false", "creationDate": "2018-03-06T20:19:16Z" }, "sessionIssuer": { "type": "Role", "principalId": "AKIAI44QH8DHBEXAMPLE", "arn": "arn:aws:iam::123456789012:role/example-role", "accountId": "123456789012", "userName": "example-role" } } }, "eventTime": "2018-03-06T20:30:12Z", "eventSource": "ssm.amazonaws.com", "eventName": "DeleteDocument", "awsRegion": "us-east-2", "sourceIPAddress": "203.0.113.11", "userAgent": "example-user-agent-string", "requestParameters": { "name": "example-Document" }, "responseElements": null, "requestID": "86168559-75e9-11e4-8cf8-75d18EXAMPLE", "eventID": "832b82d5-d474-44e8-a51d-093ccEXAMPLE", "resources": [ { "ARN": "arn:aws:ssm:us-east-2:123456789012:document/example-Document", "accountId": "123456789012" } ], "eventType": "AwsApiCall", "recipientAccountId": "123456789012", "eventCategory": "Management" }
Example 2: StartConnection

The following example shows a CloudTrail event for a user who starts an RDP connection using Fleet Manager in the US East (Ohio) Region (us-east-2). The underlying API action is StartConnection.

{ "eventVersion": "1.08", "userIdentity": { "type": "AssumedRole", "principalId": "AKIAI44QH8DHBEXAMPLE", "arn": "arn:aws:sts::123456789012:assumed-role/exampleRole", "accountId": "123456789012", "accessKeyId": "AKIAIOSFODNN7EXAMPLE", "sessionContext": { "sessionIssuer": { "type": "Role", "principalId": "AKIAI44QH8DHBEXAMPLE", "arn": "arn:aws:sts::123456789012:assumed-role/exampleRole", "accountId": "123456789012", "userName": "exampleRole" }, "webIdFederationData": {}, "attributes": { "creationDate": "2021-12-13T14:57:05Z", "mfaAuthenticated": "false" } } }, "eventTime": "2021-12-13T16:50:41Z", "eventSource": "ssm-guiconnect.amazonaws.com", "eventName": "StartConnection", "awsRegion": "us-east-2", "sourceIPAddress": "34.230.45.60", "userAgent": "example-user-agent-string", "requestParameters": { "AuthType": "Credentials", "Protocol": "RDP", "ConnectionType": "SessionManager", "InstanceId": "i-02573cafcfEXAMPLE" }, "responseElements": { "ConnectionArn": "arn:aws:ssm-guiconnect:us-east-2:123456789012:connection/fcb810cd-241f-4aae-9ee4-02d59EXAMPLE", "ConnectionKey": "71f9629f-0f9a-4b35-92f2-2d253EXAMPLE", "ClientToken": "49af0f92-d637-4d47-9c54-ea51aEXAMPLE", "requestId": "d466710f-2adf-4e87-9464-055b2EXAMPLE" }, "requestID": "d466710f-2adf-4e87-9464-055b2EXAMPLE", "eventID": "fc514f57-ba19-4e8b-9079-c2913EXAMPLE", "readOnly": false, "eventType": "AwsApiCall", "managementEvent": true, "recipientAccountId": "123456789012", "eventCategory": "Management" }

Data event examples

Example 1: CreateControlChannel

The following example shows a CloudTrail event that demonstrates the CreateControlChannel operation.

{ "eventVersion":"1.08", "userIdentity":{ "type":"AssumedRole", "principalId":"AKIAI44QH8DHBEXAMPLE", "arn":"arn:aws:sts::123456789012:assumed-role/exampleRole", "accountId":"123456789012", "accessKeyId":"AKIAI44QH8DHBEXAMPLE", "sessionContext":{ "sessionIssuer":{ "type":"Role", "principalId":"AKIAI44QH8DHBEXAMPLE", "arn":"arn:aws:iam::123456789012:role/exampleRole", "accountId":"123456789012", "userName":"exampleRole" }, "attributes":{ "creationDate":"2023-05-04T23:14:50Z", "mfaAuthenticated":"false" } } }, "eventTime":"2023-05-04T23:53:55Z", "eventSource":"ssm.amazonaws.com", "eventName":"CreateControlChannel", "awsRegion":"us-east-1", "sourceIPAddress":"192.0.2.0", "userAgent":"example-agent", "requestParameters":{ "channelId":"44295c1f-49d2-48b6-b218-96823EXAMPLE", "messageSchemaVersion":"1.0", "requestId":"54993150-0e8f-4142-aa54-3438EXAMPLE", "userAgent":"example-agent" }, "responseElements":{ "messageSchemaVersion":"1.0", "tokenValue":"Value hidden due to security reasons.", "url":"example-url" }, "requestID":"54993150-0e8f-4142-aa54-3438EXAMPLE", "eventID":"a48a28de-7996-4ca1-a3a0-a51fEXAMPLE", "readOnly":false, "resources":[ { "accountId":"123456789012", "type":"AWS::SSMMessages::ControlChannel", "ARN":"arn:aws:ssmmessages:us-east-1:123456789012:control-channel/44295c1f-49d2-48b6-b218-96823EXAMPLE" } ], "eventType":"AwsApiCall", "managementEvent":false, "recipientAccountId":"123456789012", "eventCategory":"Data" }
Example 2: RequestManagedInstanceRoleToken

The following example shows a CloudTrail event that demonstrates the RequestManagedInstanceRoleToken operation.

{ "eventVersion": "1.08", "userIdentity": { "type": "AssumedRole", "principalId": "123456789012:aws:ec2-instance:i-02854e4bEXAMPLE", "arn": "arn:aws:sts::123456789012:assumed-role/aws:ec2-instance/i-02854e4bEXAMPLE", "accountId": "123456789012", "accessKeyId": "AKIAI44QH8DHBEXAMPLE", "sessionContext": { "sessionIssuer": { "type": "Role", "principalId": "123456789012:aws:ec2-instance", "arn": "arn:aws:iam::123456789012:role/aws:ec2-instance", "accountId": "123456789012", "userName": "aws:ec2-instance" }, "attributes": { "creationDate": "2023-08-27T03:34:46Z", "mfaAuthenticated": "false" }, "ec2RoleDelivery": "2.0" } }, "eventTime": "2023-08-27T03:37:15Z", "eventSource": "ssm.amazonaws.com", "eventName": "RequestManagedInstanceRoleToken", "awsRegion": "us-east-1", "sourceIPAddress": "192.0.2.0", "userAgent": "Apache-HttpClient/UNAVAILABLE (Java/1.8.0_362)", "requestParameters": { "fingerprint": "i-02854e4bf85EXAMPLE" }, "responseElements": null, "requestID": "2582cced-455b-4189-9b82-7b48EXAMPLE", "eventID": "7f200508-e547-4c27-982d-4da0EXAMLE", "readOnly": true, "resources": [ { "accountId": "123456789012", "type": "AWS::SSM::ManagedNode", "ARN": "arn:aws:ec2:us-east-1:123456789012:instance/i-02854e4bEXAMPLE" } ], "eventType": "AwsApiCall", "managementEvent": false, "recipientAccountId": "123456789012", "eventCategory": "Data" }

For information about CloudTrail record contents, see CloudTrail record contents in the AWS CloudTrail User Guide.